Around 800 young people and adults from across East London united on 15th June to take a stand against the growing culture of violence and the knife crime epidemic.
Knives seized by police from the streets of Newham were melted down to make new garden tools and sculpture for display in an East Ham community garden.
The event was the first in the launch series of Red Letter Christians UK, a new interdenominational network of Christians.
Knife offences reached a record 40,000 in England and Wales in 2018. Last year, Newham also had the highest number of murders of any London borough.
Dr Sally Mann, Minister of Bonny Downs Baptist Church and spokesperson for Red Letter Christians in the UK, said:
“Today we’ve seen 800 people vocally and passionately calling for change. We’re determined, in our own small way, to create a legacy that lasts. The beautiful tools and art we’ve created out of knives from the streets will serve as a public reminder that hope can win over hate. We’ve committed today to delivering a knife surrender bin this summer, the only one in our borough. Perhaps above all, we look forward to discussing the great ideas we’ve heard today from many people already working for a safer community about how we can partner together better.”
One of the people attending was Paris Tankard, a young man personally affected by the violence on London’s streets. He said:
“I’ve seen first-hand how knife crime affects communities, having lost my friend to an attack just four months ago. I’m here today because events like this are incredibly important in helping communities to stand up against violence.”
|Dr Sally Mann (Bonny Downs Church & RLC UK)|