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Stalwart campaigner backs 'Lives Not Knives'
7:00am Saturday 13th October 2012 in News
AN ANTI knife crime crusader whose son was murdered has backed the Gazette’s ‘Lives not Knives’ campaign.
The campaign was launched two weeks ago following the latest in a spate of violent incidents in the area.
It was backed by schools and politicians, and now campaigning mum Ann Oakes-Odger has joined the crusade.
Ann lost her son Westley in 2005 when he was murdered aged just 27.
She has been campaigning against knife crime and asking for tougher sentencing for those wielding weapons ever since.
Ann said: “Campaigns like this are absolutely crucial. I have always viewed this as a long-term problem that needs a long-term solution, and that starts with education.
“We need to get into the mindset of young children and help them understand the consequences of getting involved in violent crime, and the downward spiral it can lead you on.
“When someone is fatally stabbed it is not just the victim who is affected. “That one moment can destroy so many lives. Every level of friends and family feels that pain.
“I know from my personal experiences how wide-reaching those affects can be.
“It is not just fatal attacks that do this either. Nearly every knife attack victim is left scarred or damaged in one way or another."
Ann hopes our campaign will help stop deadly incidents.
She added: “We have got to welcome anything that shines a light on this issue and hopefully it will encourage people, especially youngsters carrying knives, to make the right choices.”