Stabbing victims’ mums to speak out at knife crime summit

Essex County Standard: Caroline Shearer Caroline Shearer

KNIFE crime campaigners will host a summit on the dangers of carrying weapons.

Campaigners Caroline Shearer and Ann Oakes-Odger will appear at the event run by the Safer Colchester Partnership, made up of representatives from Essex Police and Colchester Council.

Both women have suffered heartache after their respective sons, Jay Whiston and Westley Odger, died after being stabbed.

Jay Whiston died after he was stabbed during a party in Marlowe Way, in Colchester, in September 2012, while Westley was stabbed in the neck after an argument outside a cash point machine in Greenstead, in 2005.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness about knife crime and the work being done by campaigners and organisations to prevent it.

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, who is also due to attend the event, said: “Concerns about knife crime were raised by members of the public at our meeting in Colchester in September.

“I believe it is important local communities make their voices heard, that all of us involved in community safety listen, and that we work together to find solutions.”

Tim Young, Colchester councillor responsible for community safety, added: “The Safer Colchester Partnership has been incredibly busy this year, with projects that make a real difference to people’s lives in the borough.

“We can never be complacent about community safety, as the two mums speaking in the debate know, but we can all work together to try to make our borough a better place to live.”

The summit will take place on Thursday, December 5, in Colchester town hall, between 10am to 1pm.

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