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Anti-knife crime lessons held in Suffolk schools ahead of six week summer holidays

PUBLISHED: 15:12 22 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 22 July 2018

Operation Sceptre has been collecting knives with a series of blade bins Picture: GREGG BROWN

Operation Sceptre has been collecting knives with a series of blade bins Picture: GREGG BROWN

Schools in Suffolk held lessons about the perils of knife crime last week in an attempt to ensure students stay safe during the six week summber holiday.

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council, praised teachers for running the anti knife lessons Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILCouncillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council, praised teachers for running the anti knife lessons Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

The Home Office last week announced that 50,000 teachers nationwide had been issued lessons plans for hour long sessions educating children on the dangers of carrying a blade.

Schools in Suffolk were among those to have been involved, with key high schools in Ipswich such as Copleston High School and Ipswich Academy among those carrying out the lessons, following a series of stabbings in the town in June.

Among some of the issues for discussion in the lessons were the dangers of social media with knife crime, how to tackle peer pressure to carry knives and the effects carrying a knife could have.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens  Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYTavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Councillor Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, said: “Knife crime has devastating consequences, so time spent learning about the myths of carrying a knife in self-deference and how a culture of gangs and violence can ruin lives is vital. We need to do all we can to keep our young people safe.”

“I would like to thank our teachers and their support staff who are taking the time to deliver these vital sessions. It is so important we work together to tackle the rise in serious violence.”

At Ipswich Academy, staff have ramped up efforts in the wake of the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Tavis Spencer-Aitkens – a former pupil at the school in Packard Avenue.

Among the recent sessions was a presentation by a reformed gang member on the harsh realities of gang life, assemblies highlighting the issue and counselling for some of the pupils affected.

Ipswich Academy has been holding the lessons Picture: GREGG BROWNIpswich Academy has been holding the lessons Picture: GREGG BROWN

Crime minister, Victoria Atkins, said: “The summer holidays can pose additional dangers to young people, which is why we are determined to do everything we can to keep them safe and give them tools and resilience they need to enjoy the summer break.

“We need everyone to work together to tackle the rise in serious violence and I thank every teacher who takes the time in their busy schedule to deliver these vital lessons to their students.”

On Friday, police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore described the issue of youth gangs and connected drug violence as the county’s “biggest threat”.

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