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Volunteers and church groups join police searching for knives in Wray Crescent

PUBLISHED: 14:34 11 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:43 15 June 2018

Volunteers gather outside St Mellitus Church ahead of a knife sweep in Wray Crescent. Picture: Sonia Zhuravlyova

Volunteers gather outside St Mellitus Church ahead of a knife sweep in Wray Crescent. Picture: Sonia Zhuravlyova

Archant

Neighbours and faith groups carried out a sweep for knives around Wray Crescent, a playground and cricket pitch 10 minutes’ walk from Finsbury Park, on Saturday.

Volunteers gather outside St Mellitus Church ahead of a knife sweep in Wray Crescent. Picture: Sonia Zhuravlyova Volunteers gather outside St Mellitus Church ahead of a knife sweep in Wray Crescent. Picture: Sonia Zhuravlyova

The anti-knife crime initiative was led by Percy Aggett, the head of the St Mellitus Justice and Peace group, as well as volunteers at the UCKG (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God) help centre in Finsbury Park.

“The park often doesn’t feel safe at night so we wanted to show that it’s for the whole community and to make our presence felt,” said Percy.

“So many people die from knife crime and we just felt so powerless so we wanted to do something.”

Four police officers issued the 16 volunteers with gloves and instructions on what to do if any weapons were discovered in the undergrowth.

Although no knives were found on this occasion, a previous search in Wray Crescent in November turned up a handful of blades.

“The idea is that we get local residents involved to show that you can be an active part of the community and feel safe on the streets,” said A/Sgt Joe Kitchingham.

Knife attacks in Islington have fallen by 12 per cent in the past year, but risen by 108 per cent compared with five years ago.

The volunteers are also raising funds for a weapons bin, which will stand outside St Mellitus Church on Tollington Park.

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