Killed Hackney teen Israel Ogunsola’s trainers laid outside Downing Street in protest over police funding cuts
- Credit: Cllr Michael Desmond
The trainers of knife-crime victim Israel Ogunsola were displayed outside Downing Street as campaigners called for police cuts to be reversed.
Anti-Knife UK organised the rally, which saw shoes of stabbing victims laid on the pavement outside number 10.
Families of victims travelled from far and wide to demand an end to the bloodshed and to police cuts.
Hackney Downs’ Cllr Michael Desmond also attended and gave a speech, in which he addressed the recent violence in Upper Clapton.
He said: “The Nightingale Estate, which I represent, recently experienced a terrible incident. A gang of youths fighting with knives and machetes, one was so seriously injured, he stumbled into a doctor’s practice adjacent, dripping blood, which understandably frightened the staff and other patients.”
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London overtook New York for murders in April, the same month Israel was stabbed to death off Morning Lane.
On Saturday Andra Hilitanu became the 44th victim of knife crime in the capital this year when she was stabbed to death in Brent.
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And Cllr Desmond called on Theresa May to reverse police cuts which started while she was Home Secretary and have seen numbers fall from 144,353 in 2009 to 122,859 in 2016.
He added: “Let those who use knives fear the consequences. But let them also understand and perceive the implications: mothers losing sons, sisters losing brothers, a knife is a personal form of weapon, a gun – however bad – is a mechanism which can be used to kill.
“To stab someone is a horrendous act which shows a contempt of life and humanity – not just the victim’s, their family, your family and society.”
Anti-Knife Crime is calling for tougher sentences, a review of the current self-defence and reasonable force laws, equal rights for victims and families and for all knives to be tagged in shops.
Cllr Desmond and Anti-Knife Crime UK also want to start music lessons in Hackney schools, where the themes of songs will relate to avoiding knives and peacefully resolving disputes.