Actress brooke kinsella: this important report on knife crime is deeply shocking and shows how much more work we have to do

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THE sister of Ben Kinsella has paid tribute to a new report published by the anti-knife crime charity which set up following his murder, Former Eastenders actress Brooke Kinsella said too many young people were carrying blades in the “blinkered belief it will make them safer”.
Brooke, whose brother Ben was stabbed to death in 2008, was responding to a major study by the Ben Kinsella Trust which took two years to compile.
The charity spoke to more than 9,500 children and teenagers, and over 240 teachers and youth workers over two years to conduct a review into the impact knives are having across our neighbourhoods.
It revealed more than a third of respondents (36%) no longer feel safe walking the streets, and that one in four (25%) feel carrying a knife makes them safer.
Alarmingly, the report also found 6% of kids aged just 10-11 years old have even considered carrying a blade.
Commenting on the report, Brooke said: “This important report is deeply shocking, and shows just how much more work we have to do.
“Since my brother’s death, the Ben Kinsella Trust has worked tirelessly to help reduce knife crime, and to educate young people about the misery blades bring to communities.
“This report underlines the fact that so many young people are fearful about knife crime.  But also, that too many are also prepared to carry one in the blinkered belief they think it will make them safer.
“The number of young people, especially girls, who feel unsafe on the streets is particularly shocking as is the age at which people are thinking of arming themselves with knives.
“Change starts with education. And the Ben Kinsella Trust will continue to help schools to inform young people about the dangers of blades and shatter the myth they keep you safe.  This is vital to ensure other families aren’t left devastated like we were by knife crime.”
The report also revealed how:
● Over one-third (36%) of young people no longer feel safe in their own neighbourhoods.
● Two-thirds (64%) feel anxious about knife crime in their area.
● And, notably, 43% of girls specifically mentioned feeling unsafe where they live.
● A quarter (25%) said they knew someone who had carried a knife.
The report, funded by the London Violence Reduction Unit, was based on data collected over a two year period (2022-2023) from participants who visited a Choices and Consequences Exhibition run by the unit in Islington and Barking. The report features the views of 9,507 young people aged 10-17 and 247 teachers and youth workers. The workshops conducted at these exhibitions engage young people with real-life stories, immersive theatre and foster open discussions, promoting trauma-informed practices and positive interactions. And the report found the exhibitions ” not only positively impacted  young people, but it empowered educators too.
It found teachers are more likely to integrate anti-knife crime lessons into their curriculum after participating in the program and that they felt more equipped and motivated to address this critical issue.
The report gauged beliefs before and after attendance at the exhibitions, and it found:
● The number of young people who thought a knife would protect them drops from
24% to 5%.
● 73% who had considered carrying a knife pledged never to do so following the
workshop.
● 89% of attendees pledge never to carry a knife.
About The Ben Kinsella Trust
The Ben Kinsella Trust is a leading charity dedicated to eradicating knife crime in the UK. Established in memory of Ben Kinsella, who was tragically murdered in 2008, the Trust works to educate everyone about the dangers of knife crime and empower them to make positive choices to keep communities safe. https://benkinsella.org.uk