Parents urged to take ‘responsibility’ after three children stabbed

In recent weeks three school-aged children from Barking and Dagenham have been stabbed on our streets.

In a bid to combat youth violence Barking and Dagenham Council has joined forces with local secondary schools to urge parents to take more responsibility for their children.

Recent data shows an increase in serious youth violence between the hours of 3pm to 7pm, when young people finish school and parents get home from work.

Now that schools have returned, and with lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, it’s more important than ever that parents know what their children are up to.

The three recent stabbings happened during this time, sparking the council to launch the ‘Lost Hours’ campaign.

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On Wednesday last week (March 24) several secondary schools shared social media messages to parents asking them to check in on their children and watch a short film, which features two local parents who lost their children to knife attacks.

“It breaks my heart every time I hear that another young person has been stabbed”

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Education and School Improvement said: “It breaks my heart every time I hear that another young person has been stabbed and I just can’t understand why young people would want to hurt each other.

“We must all work together to put a stop to youth violence and I’m appealing to parents to please check-in with their children, start questioning them, asking where they are and what they’re doing when they’re out with friends.”

All secondary schools in the borough have been issued with a toolkit for them to share with parents including social media assets, and flyers.

Over the next few weeks, schools have also been invited to take part in an activity with their students around the short film, and county lines.

“Kids shouldn’t be killing kids”

A very emotive graphic being put out by the council
A very emotive graphic being put out by the council
(Image: Barking & Dagenham Council)

Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety added: “Kids shouldn’t be killing kids, but unfortunately it is happening on our doorsteps and across London.

“Does your child take calls at all hours of the day, do they have new clothes or unexplained money? If so, they could be involved in something they shouldn’t be. Please speak to them before they do something they may regret.”

Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “I’m really pleased that schools have backed our Lost Hours campaign and are working with us to encourage parents to check in on their children regularly.

“Working as a community is the only way we can combat this issue.”

For more information on the campaign and to view the short film, click here.

Essex Live