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Jay's mum opens weapons awareness shop
8:49am Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
A CAMPAIGNING mum has opened a shop to raise awareness of knife-crime.
Caroline Shearer launched the Only Cowards Carry charity after her son Jay Whiston, 17, was killed outside a house party in Colchester last year.
Mrs Shearer has called for tougher sentences for carrying weapons and for weapons awareness to be included on the national curriculum.
The new shop in Jackson Road, Clacton was opened by Essex’s police commissioner Nick Alston.
Mr Alston said: “I am very pleased to support Caroline’s campaign and her fundraising, for which we have given a small grant.
“I think what she is doing to educate young people is very important.
“Carrying knives is cowardly and wrong.
“There has been public concern about knife crime in Clacton, but the figures are coming down and are more encouraging.”
Volunteers will run the shop, giving out information and selling merchandise to help pay the rent.
Mrs Shearer, of Aster Road, Clacton, who supports the Gazette’s Lives Not Knives campaign, has been working with schools in Tendring and Colchester to give weapons awareness sessions to pupils.
She said: “We have had a lot of support for the campaign from the police, the council and the community, as well as knife-crime victims and even the mother of someone convicted of knife-crime.
“I have heard about young people who have put down their knives because of what we are doing.
“This shop will be here permanently and people can come in and read information about what happens when people carry weapons.”
- Edward Redman, 18, of Stanway, denies murdering Jay and will stand trial at Chelmsford Crown Court in January next year.
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