Boy, 10, in knife crime gang

A TERRIFIED Ipswich mother voiced her fears about Britain's knife crime problem today after her son was held at knifepoint by a gang of children as young as 10.

Naomi Cassidy

A TERRIFIED Ipswich mother voiced her fears about Britain's knife crime problem today after her son was held at knifepoint by a gang of children as young as 10.

Police were today hunting for the gang who targeted the two 12-year-old boys in Holywells Park, Ipswich, on Saturday.

Shockingly the gang was made up of the ten-year-old boy and two 14-year-olds, a boy and a girl.

Today the mother of one of the victims, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is just such a shock. You don't think someone would be carrying a knife, especially kids of that age.

“The other mother said if her son had tried to fight back he might not be here anymore.

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“It was a horrible, unpleasant experience. You hear about this sort of thing but you never think it could happen here.”

Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward of Suffolk police said he was shocked that a youngster as young as ten had been involved in the knife-point robbery, one of the youngest violent criminals he had ever come across.

He said: “It is certainly the youngest (robber with a knife) I've been aware of for some considerable time.

“It is unusual for robberies to occur in Ipswich and it is particularly upsetting that such young people were involved in this offence.

“It is unusual to see people that young involved in this type of crime.

“I'm sure people would have been in the park at the time and I urge them to come forward.”

The incident in the town is a chilling reminder of how knife crime is affecting Britain, shown through a series of high profile stabbings in the last few weeks.

A young woman died today after being stabbed in a late night incident.

The victim, believed to be in her 20s, suffered a wound to her upper body during the attack at around 11pm yesterday in Bellenden Road, close to Peckham High Street in south east London.

The death came just hours after hundreds took to the streets of London yesterdayto demand an end to knife crime in the wake of the death of 16-year-old Ben Kinsella.

And yesterday Cherie Blair warned the House of Commons that knife and gun crime among teenagers was more common than official figures suggested.

- TWO 12-year-old boys were in the playground area in Holywells Park at about 6.30pm on Saturday when they were approached by a group of youngsters - two boys, aged about ten and 14, and a 14-year-old girl - who started goading them and asking one of them to hand over his bicycle.

When they refused, the ten-year-old started getting violent, hitting the boys in the back, groin and face, before the 14-year-old, believed to be his older brother, brandished a knife and threatened one of them.

One of the boys managed to escape through the park's gate but the girl then blocked the exit, leaving the other boy to face the knife. He refused to give up his bike but handed over all his money, which only amounted to a few pounds.

The robbery left the victims and their families traumatised and shocked.

The mother of one of the victims said: “They kept saying 'we don't want any trouble'.

“We have said they shouldn't go to that park for a while but I am encouraging my son to still go out because I don't want him to become too scared.”

- Descriptions of the attackers:

The first boy is described as aged ten, white, with short light brown hair in a shaven cut, freckles, and crooked teeth. He was wearing a navy blue sleeveless hooded top with light blue hoops around the shoulders and grey tracksuit bottoms with white socks and trainers.

The second boy is about 14-years-old, white, of slim build, with dark hair covered by a dark blue Nike baseball cap. He was wearing a black long sleeve top and dark blue jogging bottoms and he smelt of smoke.

The girl was also white, aged 14, with blonde hair in a pony tail and lots of make up.

Anyone with more information about the robbery or who was in the park at the time should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.