Colchester United kicked off the Knife Angel’s visit to the City with a 5-4 scoreline on Saturday.
The U’s dedicated the match to raising awareness of knife harm and its impact on communities.
Before the match against Notts County Us players donned ‘United Against Knife Crime’ t-shirts for their warm up and promoted the Knife Angel’s month-long visit to the City of Colchester on the big screen.
Outside the ground leaflets were handed to supporters highlighting the arrival of the Knife Angel the following day, a competition to win a Colchester United replica kit and advice to parents/carers on how to talk to young people about knife crime.
After the final whistle Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit handed out mini footballs to under 16s.
Essex Police Cadets were also at the match.
After the match Detective Chief Inspector Clayton Ford, who coordinated the anti-knife crime event, said: “Carrying a knife and the dangers which go alongside that should not be underestimated and the more young people who know that, the better. Carrying a knife makes it more likely that you, yourself, will come to harm.”
“My one message to young people is not to believe ‘everyone is carrying a knife’. Over the weekend we sporadically deployed our Open Gate system in the city centre, with 275 people walking through it, and I’m really pleased to say no weapons were identified."
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex highlighted the recent tragic reports of more young lives lost to knife crime, saying: “It was great seeing the footballing community come together on Saturday to stand united against knife crime. The match was the first of many activities happening over the next month to coincide with the Knife Angel arriving in Colchester.
“Knife crimes are very rare in Essex, even so, we should talk about the issue and ensure our communities, families, children and young people are aware of the dangers and risks of carrying a knife.”
Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit has re-launched its social media campaign to coincide with the Knife Angel visit. www.essexvvu.co.uk/knives is aimed at parents, asking them to talk to their children about knife harm.
Councillor Natalie Sommers, Portfolio Holder for Communities at Colchester City Council, said: “The Knife Angel comes to our city with the intention of provoking a meaningful conversation about the devastating consequences of knife crime and the need for community-wide efforts to address this issue.
“The visit was well and truly kicked off by Saturday’s match and the opportunity it presented to address a wider audience in our community.
“I would encourage all residents to visit our website www.colchester.gov.uk/knife-angel to see what events are taking place across the city during the Knife Angel’s visit this month.”
Community Foundation Health and Inclusion Manager, Ed King, said: “We share the belief that early intervention is crucial in the attempt to stop knife crime and help save lives. This is why our match day initiative, in partnership with the VVU and PFCC, focused on young Colchester United fans. We hope every young person who attended the game took at least one message home that will help prevent further incidents in the future.”
Page last reviewed: 3 October 2023