CHARGES for knife crime offences continue to rise in Essex, new figures show.

The Essex Police figures show nearly two people are being charged with a knife crime every day, with 676 charges recorded for the year to September 2015, up from 600 for the same period in 2013.

Charges for attempted murder, homicide, rape and sexual offences, threats to kill and violence with injury are all up, but figures for robbery involving knives are down.

Caroline Shearer, chief executive officer of Essex-based antiknife crime campaign group Only Cowards Carry, said: “Unfortunately, knife crime does continue to rise, and not just across Essex but across the country.

“Not only does it seem to be a way of life, it seems to be that young people are carrying knives for fun.

“Their idea of fun is going to parties with a knife and scaring people or threatening them.

“What we need is tough sentencing – no ifs, no buts, no maybes.

“Unfortunately, we still have some judges who will let people off or give an eight-month sentence, four of which they won’t serve. We need a proper deterrent.”

Only Cowards Carry was founded in November 2012 by Ms Shearer, in memory of her 17- year-old son, Jay Whiston, who was fatally stabbed in September 2012.

The charity now tries to educate children on the issues around weapons awareness and the possible consequences of knife crime.

The figures also showed the number of under-18 boys charged with offences had increased, up from 37 in the year to September 2013 and 2015 and two girls charged with offences in the year to September 2015.

Ms Shearer added: “It comes back to parents as well.

“Where is your child? What are they doing? Even if they are 17 then they are still a child.

“It is the education that people need and we have started quite a lot of parent education to help with that. People need to know the consequences of their actions. As a society, with children having children, we have gone so far backwards in parenting that we have parents having to go to classes to be taught how to cook a meal.”


KNIVES have been the murder weapon of choice in recent years in south Essex.

In July 2014, Hassan Mohammed Ibrahim was murdered by Tajwar Alam in York Road, Southend.

Alam, 19, a former pupil at Futures Community College, in Southchurch Boulevard, Southend, was sentenced last year to a minimum of 20 years in prison for the stabbing.

Just months after the teenager was locked up, his younger brother Tahmid, also 19, was sentenced toaminimum of ten years in prison for stabbing a motorist at the junction of Hamlet Court Road and West Road, in Westcliff, last June.

Only last week, 22-year-old Jordan Taylor, of Pitsea, was sentenced to a minimum of 23 years behind bars for stabbing his former girlfriend 81 times with a kitchen knife last summer. Last month, Bradley Johnson, 48, of Slough, and Paul Sultana, 46, of Ilford, were sent down for a combined 53 years for the murder of Westcliff father-of-four Steven Woodhouse after he was stabbed at his Park Lane scrapyard last June.

Next month, Abdulfatah Suleiman, 28, of no fixed address, will stand trial for the murder of Dagenham drug dealer Anton Levin, 26, in St Anns Road, in November 2014.

Three people, 26-year-old prostitute Danielle Russell and two teenage boys, were convicted of Mr Levin’s manslaughter last July after he bled to death in Russell’s living room after being stabbed.