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Read about how knife crime affects people's lives
Ann Oakes-Odger is a tireless campaigner against knife crime and a great supporter of Essex Police's 2SMART roadshows and 2SMART 4 Knives.
Her life has been deeply affected by knife crime after her son Westley was stabbed to death at a cash point machine in Colchester in 2005.
Since then, Ann has been doing all she can to raise awareness of knife crime and the devastation it can bring.
Ann writes: "The 2SMART roadshows, which now cover knife crime as well as other important issues are absolutely dynamic . . . adults love the content just as much as the schoolchildren.
"I consider the 2SMART programme of huge importance, especially given that young people are our future citizens. It is clear from the schoolchildren's response at each event that they are simply 'wowed' . . but, most rewarding to me is how they've responded to the issues in particular. They say openly that they do not ever want to carry a knife!
"Sadly, the carrying of bladed weapons by some young people is often in the foolish belief that it will protect them if they are threatened. I cannot emphasise enough that the reverse is true . . . far too many serious injuries are sustained with the victim's own weapon. It only takes the wrong thing said . . . and a tradegy can happen, that could have been avoided."
For more information about Ann and the work she does within schools, visit the Online Knife Crimes Resource Website: www.KnifeCrimes.org
Angels singing in the sky - by Westley J B Odger
I hear the song
was 27 years old when he was brutally stabbed at a cashpoint in Colchester
and died moments after the blade ruptured an artery in his neck. Westley
had his whole life ahead of him but because of a single, thoughtless act
by someone carrying a knife his life was taken away. Many people were
around when the attack happened, including an experienced first-aider,
but his life could not be saved.
Essex is a safe county and doesn't have the knife crime problem seen in other areas of the UK.
do you think about knife crime? We've all seen the news and heard
the stories but we want to know your views about knife crime. Please be
honest - this will help us understand more about knife crime in Essex.