Pupils take anti-knife message to PM

John Phillips STUDENTS will tomorrow (Thursday) take their anti-knife crime campaign to Downing Street Students from Dagenham Park School hope to lobby Prime Minister Gordon Brown as part of their drive to stop stabbings and shootings spiralling out of control. The st

John Phillips

STUDENTS will tomorrow (Thursday) take their anti-knife crime campaign to Downing Street

Students from Dagenham Park School hope to lobby Prime Minister Gordon Brown as part of their drive to stop stabbings and shootings spiralling out of control.

The students behind the Say No to Guns and Knives campaign will be joined by Cllr Val Rush to present a 4,000-plus signature petition to stop shopkeepers selling blades to children.


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The year eight students and the executive member for community safety will be joined by Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas.

He said: "We are going to try to present the petition to Downing Street.

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"Hopefully, they're going to see Gordon Brown. Particularly at the school, I know they have taken it very seriously.

"They want to take their concerns with the Prime Minister and hopefully he will be able to spare a few minutes for us."

Figures obtained by the Recorder show there have been 285 knife crime offices in Barking and Dagenham since April 2008, compared to 286 the previous year.

Youth violence fell from 605 to 598 offences, while gun crime rose from 52 to 56.

A spokesman for Dagenham Park School, School Road, said: "They took the campaign to the streets, to Dagenham Heathway Station. They were there with the police.

"They have done a lot of initiatives, they produced T-shirts and badges to stop knives being used.

"It's just to stop people carrying knives, say no to knives and guns, as so many are dying now."

More than 4,000 people signed a Barking and Dagenham Council petition to remove the "due diligence" defence open to shopkeepers who sell blades to minors.

More signatures were posted on the Prime Minister's website with extra support coming in from across the world on social networking website Facebook.

Cllr Rush said: "We've been incredibly successful and the community of Barking and Dagenham has been very supportive.

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