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Knife crime back on agenda as Brooke Kinsella speaks out and hard-hitting play tours Islington schools

PUBLISHED: 12:12 09 March 2013

Actress  Brooke Kinsella  takes part in a web-streamed Q&A for The Prince’s Trust  to give hope to young people facing issues such as poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

Actress Brooke Kinsella takes part in a web-streamed Q&A for The Prince’s Trust to give hope to young people facing issues such as poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

Archant

»Knife crime is back on the agenda this week as Brooke Kinsella joined a victim support charity while a hard-hitting play was performed across Islington.

The former EastEnders actress has been a passionate anti-knife crime campaigner ever since her brother was stabbed to death in 2008.

Ben Kinsella was just 16 when he was knifed in Holloway after a bar fight spilled out into the street.

Now his sister has become an official ambassador for Victim Support – a charity which takes more than 23,500 calls a year from victims of rape, robbery, assault and knife crimes.

Ms Kinsella said: “I am proud to be Victim Support’s ambassador.

Desperate

“Supportline is helping more and more victims deal with the impact of crime, but as demand outstrips the number of volunteers, there is a risk that desperate people may be left without support.

“Victim Support was there when I needed them. So I’m calling on people to give some time to answer calls and emails from victims of crime and make this essential lifeline available to everyone who needs it.”

Meanwhile a play looking at how young people can be drawn into the dangers of knife crime and gangs has been touring the borough.

The production is the work of Metaplay, a company which was already devising theatre on the dangers of the weapons when the tragic news of Ben Kinsella’s murder came through.

Deborah Watson, director of Metaplay, said: “When Ben Kinsella was stabbed it reinforced what a good thing we were doing. We could really see how it affected the young people in the area.

“We devise the play from newspaper reports, things that actually happened. Then we do workshops with the kids, give them a situation and ask them what they would do differently. We try to make them aware of consequences.

“We’ve been so impressed by their responses – thoughtful and creative. Some of them say things like ‘I would hit him’ but when pushed they all come up with something.

“We try to let them know there is no safe place to stab someone and there is no safety in carrying a blade.”

Metaplay is on tonight at the Barnsbury Community Centre, Carnegie Street, Barnsbury, from 6.30pm and tomorrow at the Williamson Street Community Centre, Parkhurst Road, Holloway from 6.30pm.

n For more information on the project visit metaplaytheatre.wordpress.com

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