‘There’s no deterrent’ – campaigner calls for tougher punishments on knife users following Ipswich stabbing

Caroline Shearer wants to see knife users sent to boot camps. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Caroline Shearer wants to see knife users sent to boot camps. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Two men have been charged with causing grievous bodily harm after a man in his 20s suffered knife wounds near to the Buttermarket Centre on Friday night.

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant

The victim suffered multiple wounds to his arms and legs believed to have been caused by a knife and which required medical attention, police said. The alleged incident happened in St Stephen’s Church Lane.

The suspects, Jamie Phillips, 26, and 18-year-old Ryan Page, both of Turret Lane, Ipswich, are due to appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court today.

The latest alleged incident in Ipswich has raised fresh concern over knife crime in the town.

Caroline Shearer founded Only Cowards Carry in 2012 after her 17-year-old son Jay Whiston was fatally stabbed at a house party in Colchester.

The alleged incident happened near the Buttermarket in Ipswich. File picture: GREGG BROWN

The alleged incident happened near the Buttermarket in Ipswich. File picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Commenting generally, she said: “We can’t arrest our way out of this anymore, arrests aren’t doing it.

“We have to look at different solutions – yes education but after that we need to look at what else we can do.

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“Youngsters using blades are going to prison and coming out twice as bad and not learning one thing. I’m thinking major boot camps – no cigarettes, no alcohol, in the middle of nowhere.”

The 52-year-old added: “Everyone in my situation, our hearts are broken and we hold ourselves together by being in a group but no one can fix us – we are unfixable.”

Currently based in Clacton-on-Sea, Mrs Shearer said she was planning to bring her campaign to Suffolk because she saw a need for greater education.

In August, this newspaper launched a campaign calling for an end to knife crime in Suffolk following a spate of attacks.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I am extremely concerned with the significant increase in the level of stabbings in the county and nationwide. We all have a responsibility across Suffolk to try and prevent anyone using knives to hurt other people and to get right behind the campaigns that are trying to tackle this growing problem.”

The Government is currently consulting on new laws on offensive weapons and Mr Passmore said he hoped the sale of blades, especially to younger people, would be “greatly restricted” in the future.

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