‘Carrying a weapon doesn’t keep you safe’ - Warning after Moffat Avenue assault
The stabbing of a teenage boy in Ipswich has sparked leaders to issue a fresh warning to young people about the dangers of carrying a weapon.
The assault in Moffat Avenue on Wednesday was the latest in a long line of violent crimes in the town over the past year, including three alleged murders, other stabbings, an attempted rape and gun use.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I get regular, weekly updates from the chief constable because I am really concerned about this.
“I have lived in Suffolk all my life and I have not known levels of recorded knife crime like this before.”
Mr Passmore said many of the problems in Ipswich stemmed from drugs, with gangs travelling to the town from London to embroil teenagers in a life of crime - although there is no evidence to suggest this was a factor in Wednesday’s suspected stabbing.
Suffolk Constabulary has appointed three extra police community support officers (PCSOs) to go into schools across the county and encourage pupils to steer clear of weapons and drugs, Mr Passmore said.
He added: “Longer term we have got to look very seriously at getting the message across to everybody that carrying a knife doesn’t necessarily keep you safe. It is dangerous, and it is illegal.
“It is crucial that we engage properly, particularly with young people about their own personal safety and address these causes.”
Ipswich borough councillor Alasdair Ross, who represents the Rushmere ward, where the Moffat Avenue incident took place, agreed early intervention is the best way to tackle the town’s escalating crime levels.
He said: “I think we need to work with schools and our younger residents to get the message out that you don’t need to carry a knife and it’s not sensible to carry a knife. If you do it can lead to a serious incident like [Wednesday], or if you are found with it you could end up ruining your life at a very young age. I think education is the main thing.”
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Superintendent Kerry Cutler, of Suffolk Constabulary, reiterated the message.
She said: “Knives do not keep you safe – quite the opposite. By carrying a knife you are putting yourself in much greater danger, being more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself.”