“Kids shouldn’t be killing kids, but unfortunately it is happening on our doorsteps” (Credit: LBBD)
All three pupils, including a teenager stabbed on Hulse Avenue, were attacked since schools re-opened earlier this month and between the hours of 3pm and 7pm.
The council is urging parents to make sure they know their children’s whereabouts during this time, which is usually between the end of the school day and before parents return home from work.
It is the second phase of a campaign, launched last summer, after data showed an increase in serious youth violence during these “Lost Hours”.
“Now that schools have returned and with lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, there will be more young people on the streets hanging around, so it’s important more than ever that parents know what their children are up to,” said a council spokesperson.
“Kids shouldn’t be killing kids, but unfortunately it is happening on our doorsteps and across London,” said Cllr Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Community Safety.
The council say it has teamed up with local secondary schools to spread the message through social media and newsletters.
School has finished for the day. Have you checked where your child is & what they’re up to? Check in now before they do something they shouldn’t.
— Barking Abbey School (@BarkingAbbeySch) March 24, 2021
On Wednesday, 24 March, several schools shared the message along with a film featuring two parents who lost their children to knife attacks.
“The whole idea is to minimise the knife attacks that are going on in the area,” says Jodie Chesney‘s father, Peter.
Beatrice Mushiya, mother of 17-year-old Duran Kajiama who was stabbed in 2016 on his way to a birthday party, says: “I still can’t believe that he’s not there, it’s the silence that makes me understand he is not there anymore.”
The council added all schools in the borough have been given a “toolkit”, which includes posters and ways to share the message online, to hand out to parents.
It also said pupils would take part in an activity around the film and “county lines”, where traffickers recruit children to distribute drugs around rural areas.
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