Ben: MP calls for knife amnesty

ISLINGTON South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry this week called for a knife amnesty to end the trail of violence on Islington s streets.

ISLINGTON South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry this week called for a knife amnesty to end the trail of violence on Islington's streets.

In a statement to the Gazette on Tuesday, Ms Thornberry, who has a 16-year-old son herself and lives just a couple of streets away from the Kinsella family, said: "Three of Islington's boys have been stabbed to death in one year - and it would seem that they have all been murdered by other young men carrying knives.

"Tuesday's demonstration was all the more poignant because it was organised by Ben's friends. It had a clear message which echoed the challenge coming from the family: 'Put down your knives'.

"The minority of young people who believe that knives make them safer, bigger and cooler must take heed of this message.

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"We should have a knife amnesty. Youngsters should have a chance to get rid of their weapons voluntarily. But if they don't, those who are caught carrying them are likely to go prison and those who use them will be caught and spend most of their lives in prison.

"I am reassured to hear that the number of police officers searching teenagers for weapons has greatly increased recently. There are up to 50 officers stopping youngsters at all hours on Islington's streets.

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"I had a private meeting with Ben's mum last night, and I agree with her that no mother should go through what she is suffering, ever again."

Actor Ray Panthaki, the boyfriend of grieving soap star Brooke Kinsella, has pledged to do all he can to help stamp out knife crime. Mr Panthaki, 29, who met Brooke on the set of EastEnders, visited the scene of Ben Kinsella's killing on Sunday. He said: "I completely back this campaign against knives. I intend to put everything I can into it. Everyone who knows Ben and knows the family is going to as well."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who lives near the home of stabbed teenager Ben Kinsella, said: "I deeply regret that another young person has lost their life to violence and my thoughts are with the family of this young man.

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