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Ex-gang member speaking against knife crime in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 07:51 31 August 2019

Rev Peterson Anand at the Nansen Road Baptist Church Picture: ANDREW HIRST

Rev Peterson Anand at the Nansen Road Baptist Church Picture: ANDREW HIRST

Andrew Hirst

An ex-gang member and a mother whose son was stabbed to death will be speaking in Ipswich about the dangers of knife crime and "county lines" drug-dealing.

Suffolk has the largest national percentage increase in knife crime related incidents, according to the ONS. Picture: GETTY IMAGESSuffolk has the largest national percentage increase in knife crime related incidents, according to the ONS. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The Nansen Road Baptist Church is inviting people in the community to hear from two speakers who have experienced the horrifying consequences of knife crime up close on Saturday, September 7.

Mark Clarke, founding chief executive of Walk to Freedom, is coming to tell his story, starting from his time as a career criminal and a 20-year battle with drug dependency.

Mr Clarke says he found freedom during an intensive 16-month rehabilitation programme, which led to him discovering a passion to draw upon his experience to help others and start his charity.

Also invited to the church is Roseann Taylor, whose 18-year-old son was stabbed to death in Luton in March 2018.

The public meeting is being held at the Nansen Road Baptist Church in Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPSThe public meeting is being held at the Nansen Road Baptist Church in Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Four men have now been convicted, three of murder and one of manslaughter, in connection with his death.

She now speaks in support of fighting knife crime, even meeting with Theresa May while she served as prime minister to urge her to combat the problems.

Mick Earrey - organiser and leader of the Noisy Group, a team of Christian volunteers - is hoping that people will take the pair's first-hand experiences to heart.

Mr Earrey said: "This is for anyone to come along to.

"It's really going to show what can happen to you if you go down the wrong road, because Mark's been there.

"There's always a better life. It sounds obvious but it's important to show people who they could end up in the same position."

The event has been organised by the church's Rev Peterson Anand, the Noisy Group and Suffol police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore.

It is free to attend and starts at the church from 3pm.

Refreshments will be available.

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