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Campaigner renews calls for harsher punishments after two stabbings in Clacton

PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 February 2019

Caroline Shearer marked the five year anniversary from the murder of her son Jay Whiston. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Caroline Shearer marked the five year anniversary from the murder of her son Jay Whiston. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A campaigner is calling for harsher punishments for people who carry knives after a spate of stabbings in Essex.

Only Cowards Carry emptied out bins full of knives after the Clacton knife amnesty. Picture: ARCHANTOnly Cowards Carry emptied out bins full of knives after the Clacton knife amnesty. Picture: ARCHANT

Caroline Shearer, who founded Essex knife crime charity Only Cowards Carry after her 17-year-old son Jay Whiston was murdered in 2012, is now calling for more stringent punishments for people who carry weapons after two people were injured in unrelated knife attacks within 400 metres of one another in Clacton on Monday.

The first incident happened shortly before 11.25am on Monday, near Christmas Tree Island in West Avenue when a teenage boy was reported to have been stabbed. A 17-year-old boy from Ipswich has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and is currently in custody for questioning.

A second incident happened shortly afterwards outside Clacton train station. Officers blocked off an area near the station entrance, just off Skelmersdale Road after being called to reports that a man had suffered stab wounds. He was taken to hospital to be treated.

The incidents come just weeks after a man was found dead and another injured after being wounded in Colchester town centre.

The Essex campaigner said: “It has got to the stage where people are scared on our streets. These people are now carrying knives and getting into fights in day light in areas where kids are playing and elderly people are.

“There needs to be a harsher sentence for people who carry knives because at the moment it is too lenient. There needs to be a proper punishment so that people stop carrying knives.

“It is up to the law makers to stop this from happening. It’s not anti-social behaviour any more it is serious criminal behaviour.”

Currently, the minimum sentence for someone in possession of a knife is a high level community order. Depending on the seriousness of offence, someone found guilty could receive a maximum sentence of two and a half years imprisonment.

Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, said: “It is a matter of great concern that some people in the town feel it is acceptable to carry blades. It is good that we have hundreds of additional police officers hitting the streets this year, not only in Clacton but of the rest of Essex. This type of behaviour is not acceptable on the streets of Clacton.”

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