Knife crime has been an ongoing issue within the UK. The latest figures date back to 2019 – according to Statista, the number of knife crime offences recorded in the nation’s capital reached almost 15.6 thousand. It is to be noted that this trend in increasing knife crime has also been seen throughout England and Wales – not just within London. Behind each statistic is a story of personal pain.
Five mothers have chosen to relive that pain, to raise awareness and to encourage people to report information. They shared their stories, and the calls they made after hearing of their sons’ deaths, as part of the ‘Hard Calls Save Lives’ campaign with the Metropolitan Police.
One mother spoke of how she called her son 10 times, after hearing that he had been killed.
The campaign, which has been running for almost a week, aims to inspire those who have close relatives who may be involved in knife crime, to call Crimestoppers anonymously and share information that could prevent further deaths.
Archie Beston was out with his friends in Kingston when he was stabbed to death in 2020. A van was deliberately driven towards the 19-year-old and another teenager, and Archie was stabbed by Tyrone Bryan, who was later convicted of manslaughter.
His mother Becky Beston is one of the mothers who are campaigning.
She said: “After my Archie was murdered, I had to call up about getting him embalmed. That should never be a sentence a mum should have to say.”
‘Hard Calls Saves Lives’ includes short films as well as advertisements online and on radio.
Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “This campaign would not have been possible without the strength and courage of these mothers, who have relived the traumatic calls they had to make in the hope that it will prevent other families suffering, as they have.
“We understand this is a difficult thing to ask – but you don’t have to name names and even a small piece of information could be vital. Making that one call could literally save the life of someone’s son or daughter.”
If you have any information regarding knife crime, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.