Video: Kids to take a stand against knife crime

PUPILS at a school shaken by the death of former pupil Lewis Watson have pledged to work with police against knife crime.

Russell Claydon

PUPILS at a school shaken by the death of former pupil Lewis Watson have pledged to work with police against knife crime.

A number of students at Sudbury Upper School have already promised to get together with officers and council workers to come up with ways of making carrying blades socially unacceptable.

It came after a series of hard-hitting presentations about the impact of knife crime at the school this week, part of an ongoing two week campaign in the town.

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Officials from Babergh District Council and Suffolk police have asked pupils to help them come up with ways to ensure opportunities for knife flash points, like the one which killed Lewis, are stamped out.

The 23-year-old, whose sister attends the sixth form, was stabbed to death in the town on September 26. Andrew Rowlands, 27, of the Croft, Sudbury, has pleaded guilty to his murder and is due to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court next month.

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David Forrest, head at Sudbury Upper, said although there was not a growing problem at his school the greatest danger was complacency.

“Most of the students would not have known he (Lewis) was a former student. A few of the young people in the sixth form are directly involved. Nonetheless, it was a shock for everyone in the local community in the few days after it happened and we all thought this would not happen in Sudbury.”

He added: “We have had the odd occasion when someone has said 'so and so had a pen knife in their bag' but what is good is students have been quick to always tell and we can talk to that student and parents about the dangers and potential dangers.”

During the presentations pupils were shown a film of a teenager who had become paralysed after receiving a 1cm gash from his own knife he was carrying on a bus.

Sergeant Ian Watson, of the Sudbury and Great Cornard Safer Neighbourhood Team, told students one in three people who carry a knife are injured by it themselves.

Sally Watson, Babergh District Council's anti-social behaviour officer, urged students to come forward and help them with ideas, such as getting young people to sign a pledge saying they will not carry knives.

She said she had so far been very encouraged by the show of hands at the end of presentations, and forms have been left in classrooms for people to give their details.

Student Celia Fitch-Holland, 15, said of the presentation: “I thought it was good because it gave lots of information we did not have but it reassured us.”

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