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Suffolk shares a ‘collective responsibility’ to ‘stop this dreadful violence’

PUBLISHED: 14:48 03 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 03 June 2018

Caroline Shearer who founded Only Cowards Carry wants to help tackle knife crime in Suffolk Picture: ARCHANT

Caroline Shearer who founded Only Cowards Carry wants to help tackle knife crime in Suffolk Picture: ARCHANT

Police and charity leaders have appealed for people to “pull together” and end the “dreadful violence” which has claimed a teenager’s life.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSuffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said he was “deeply saddened” to hear of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old boy in Nacton on Saturday.

It follows escalating knife crime in the town, which is at its highest level in five years and has seen a number of victims seriously wounded and others killed.

Mr Passmore said he had spoken to Suffolk’s chief constable who had assured him all necessary resources were being made available to bring the perpetrators to justice quickly.

“All of us must really come together as we all share a collective responsibility to try and stop this dreadful violence,” he added. “I am totally committed to do whatever I can with the local communities to help.

“My thoughts and prayers are, of course, with the bereaved at this terribly sad time.”

Caroline Shearer, who founded the Only Cowards Carry charity after her 17-year-old son Jay Whiston was fatally stabbed in Essex in 2012 has also appealed for an end to the violence.

“We need to start pulling together if we’re going to save these kids’ lives,” she added.

“The situation in Suffolk has become so bad, there are youngsters going around on bikes carrying knives and it’s really worrying.”

Ms Shearer hopes to meet with Mr Passmore to discuss ways her charity can bring the work it has been doing in Essex to help in Suffolk.

“There’s so much we can do to help,” she added.

“These kids need to be spoken to so that we can raise awareness about the dangers of carrying a knife and hopefully we can teach them how to prevent an attack.

“There’s such a problem with gangs in the area at the moment.”

In Essex, Only Cowards Carry’s Link Up programme has seen hundreds of young people talk about their experiences with knife crime, as well as other issues such as gangs, drugs, and bullying, as well as how to get advice and support.

Ms Shearer said her thoughts were with the dead teenager’s family.

“My heart goes out to all of them,” she added.

“These feelings of loss never go away - not in weeks, in years, in 10 year, it’s there forever.”

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