'We must see an end to the scourge of knife crime that has hit the city'

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Bristol's media, community leaders and campaigners are joining forces to say enough is enough

Today we come together as a city united to say enough is enough. We must see an end to the scourge of knife crime that has hit the city in recent weeks, months and years.

Knife crime has a devastating effect on the communities it impacts. And never has this been more clear than what’s happened so far in Bristol in 2024. 

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Over just 18 days at the end of January and the start of February, three teenagers in the city have lost their lives.

Mason Rist, 15, and Max Dixon, 16, died after being attacked in Knowle West on January 27. Darrian Williams, 16, was attacked in Rawnsley Park in Easton on February 14 and later died.

There have been other incidents and all this comes after 2023, a year in which there was an incident involving a knife on average more than once a week.

A number of lives were lost, including Eddie King Muthemba Kinuthia, Paul Wagland, Mikey Roynon, Hubert ‘Isaac’ Brown, Adam Ali Ibrahim and Martin Hefferman.

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Knife crime is a public health issue, worsened by cuts that have decimated vital services and youth provision, hitting some of the poorest communities hardest.

We know there is no magic way to make this problem go away, but we - the city’s media, community leaders, campaigners and more -  have joined forces with the following six-point plan:

  • Set up a task force - We will develop a community-driven task force to meet and discuss the issue, how best to tackle it and how we can make a real difference with those in power.
  • Getting knives off the street - We will work with the campaigners to raise awareness of initiatives designed to get knives off the streets. 
  • Social media - We will look at the Online Safety Bill and see if it goes far enough where it comes to harmful knife-related content on social media and how easy it is for children to see.
  • Raise awareness - We will work together to raise the awareness of how knife crime is linked to poverty, education, employment, social exclusion and the collapse in youth services.
  • Lobby the government - We will cover the issue in the context of the General Election, using our findings from the taskforce and our reporting to lobby for change.
  • Hold power to account - We will scrutinise and hold Avon and Somerset Police and Bristol City Council to account on their plans and models to make Bristol safer.

Of course, we don’t have all the answers. This campaign will be a moving thing that will develop as time passes. But the key message is, we must see change in the city.

The best way of giving ourselves a chance of making that happen is by working together.

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If you would like to take part in this campaign, then we want to hear from you. 

You can get in touch with us at: [email protected]

Full list of signatories:

  • Leanne Reynolds, knife crime campaigner
  • Reverend Dr Dawnecia Palmer
  • Abdul Malik, Chairperson/Trustee, Easton Jamia Masjid
  • Mohamed Makawi, Green Party Councillor for Cotham
  • Patrick Hart, CEO of BCfm and E-Com Media
  • Desmond Brown, Director, Growing Futures
  • Martin Bisp, CEO, Empire Fighting Chance
  • Adam Tutton, CEO, Bristol Rovers Trust
  • Pete Gavan, Senior Editor, BristolLive
  • Kate Wilson, Executive Editor, BristolLive
  • Mark Taylor, Editor, BristolWorld
  • Charlie Watts, BristolWorld
  • Sean Morrison, Investigations Lead, Bristol Cable
  • Eliz Mizon, Strategy Lead, Bristol Cable
  • Martin Booth, Editor, Bristol24/7
  • Ellie Pipe, Deputy Editor, Bristol24/7
  • Nicky Edmondson, Chief Executive Officer for Excalibur Academies Trust
  • Bristol Rovers Community Trust
  • Neil Blundell, CEO, Cathedral Schools Trust
  • Neil Maggs, Bristol journalist and former community worker
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