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Romford march honours memory of Jodie Chesney and calls for action on knife crime

Thousands of residents have marched through the streets of Romford to remember Jodie Chesney and demand more police on the streets.

Demonstrators filled the roads with purple ribbons and balloons while they walked peacefully from South Street to Romford police station yesterday evening.  

Three separate petitions, calling for more to be done to tackle knife crime, were handed to a senior officer at the station.

The march highlighted growing concerns among the local community that knife crime is becoming increasingly common in the area. 

“Jodie was murdered in a park where my sons used to play,” said Sandra. 

“I come home by train and I want to feel safe. I want to be able to walk from Harold Wood station to my home without fear.”

Her sentiment was echoed by many who attended the march with feelings of frustration and anger. 

“We have a daughter and we don’t let her out,” one mother explained. “She says we’re ruining her life but we’re saving her life.”

Another woman simply wanted to know “when are they going to listen? When is somebody in charge going to do something?”  

Crowds gathered outside Romford police station.

However, many were also encouraged by the display of solidarity being shown by residents from Havering, Barking and Dagenham and further afield. 

“It’s just fantastic the whole community has come together over it because everyone has had enough,” said Natalie. 

“Everyone is fed up with not being able to let their children walk the streets safely.”

A lot of the people attending carried signs saying Jodie won’t be forgotten and calling for action to prevent similar crimes happening again. 

“We need more policing,” claimed one woman. “There’s no police on the streets, there’s no deterrent, criminals can do what they like.  The police only come when they’re called out and it’s not good enough.” 

The message from those at the march was clear.

At the end of the demonstration, purple ribbons were tied to the railing outside the police station. 

Marchers watched as three separate petitions were given to a commanding officer. 

The night was drawn to a close by a minutes silence. 

Thousands of people marched through Romford town centre last night.

Jodie was stabbed in the back in Amy’s Park last Friday. 

Her father, Peter, told Sky News yesterday: “Jodie was the nicest person. Everything about her was thoughtful and kind. She wouldn’t have done anything to deserve this. Jodie needs justice and we need justice.”

She was a college student studying psychology, sociology and photography as well as a keen pianist. 

A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with her murder. 

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