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ESSEX

Never carry a knife or weapon

Only Cowards Carry, the anti-knife crime charity founded by Caroline Shearer, has announced details of its weapons awareness partnership work with secondary and primary schools in the north of Essex.

Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:  “I am a huge supporter of the work of Only Cowards Carry and everyone in the community who is committed to engaging with young people and educating them about the dangers of carrying a knife.”

“Through the PCC’s New Initiatives Fund, the people of Essex have given £5,000 to help support Only Cowards Carry.  I am delighted to see that this crucial work is being taken into 84 primary and six secondary schools during the next few months.

“I urge everyone to join the campaign and commit never to carry a knife or weapon.”

Caroline Shearer said: “I started the Only Cowards Carry Campaign in order to help make our communities a safer place by educating young people at an influential age on the serious dangers and distressing consequences of carrying a weapon, as well as to try and help prevent other people going through the devastating life changing traumas that myself and Jay’s family and friends and community have.  I have been truly overwhelmed by the amount of support there is for this mission.” 

Tendring District Commander Chief Inspector Cat Barrie fully supports the initiative, saying:  “It is absolutely vital that the whole community fully supports the drive to stop people carrying weapons as the impacts are often devastating.  I fully support the commitment from Only Cowards Carry to work with youngsters in primary and secondary schools which will complement the awareness packages that my Youth Officers deliver to Year 8 students in Tendring, along with other partnership work.”

The Only Cowards Carry weapon awareness events will be rolled out in schools during the next three months.

Caroline Haynes, Head Teacher of Tendring Technology College, added: “Jay was a very popular student at Tendring Technology College and the circumstances of his death were deeply shocking to the whole college and community.  We as a college support Caroline and Only Cowards Carry and want our young people to be safe, not only here at Tendring Technology College, but out in the wider community.  The Pledge will initially involve all 900 students at the Thorpe Campus.”

Caroline Shearer concluded:  “Our workshops are visually and kinaesthetically designed to be interactive and impactful, teaching the dangers and outcomes of choosing to carry and often using a weapon with graphic consequences, thus to make a lasting impression on that young person ultimately for the better.  The past year has been really tough emotionally for us all but channelling that negative energy into doing something positive has been worthwhile as we know that already we are making a difference.”

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