Mother’s campaign to restrict knife sales in wake of Camden stabbings
Warning that young men can easily buy blades online or shoplift them from store displays
11 October, 2018 — By Helen Chapman
A MOTHER shocked by the scale of knife crime in Camden is leading a new campaign to make it harder for young people to buy blades.
Suzana Marulli, who lives in Kentish Town with her teenage son, said the internet had made it easier for anyone to buy knives.
And the 37-year-old said high street shops should be made to keep them behind a counter and treated in the same way as cigarettes.
“We need to make it harder for kids to obtain these things,” said Ms Marulli. “We know that children make fake accounts online and change the date of birth. I’m not saying it’s going to stop knife crime, but it could help reduce it.”
She has now started a petition calling for a ban on online knife sales and for more safety measures in shops, and is appealing for people to get behind the campaign.
It is the latest community response in the wake of the Camden stabbings earlier this year, which saw two young men killed in the same evening.
Sadiq Aadam died in Malden Road in February, less than two hours after Abdikarim Hassan was stabbed to death close to his home on the Peckwater Estate.
Their deaths came days after Lewis Blackman, a 19-year-old former Acland Burghley student who also lived on Peckwater, died in a knife attack in west London.
The cases led to a march through Camden amid calls for the community to work together to stop more violence. But Kwasi Anim-Boadu, 20, from Camden Town was stabbed to death in Finsbury Park in April.
Ms Marulli said: “Some of those kids were friends with our nephews. I’ve seen the effects this has on our young people. Kids are mourning their friends and then they go straight back to school.”
Ms Marulli, who works for Make Dreams Reality, a campaign group based in Islington, added: “We have a major knife epidemic currently on our streets. Organisations should make sure their products are sold responsibly. Large organisations need to give back to grassroots companies on the ground. I want to highlight how easy it is to buy a knife or for an axe to be obtained.”
She added: “Challenge 25 needs to stop – everyone should be ID’d when buying a knife. There should be better control of where these knives are going. Stores have knives out on the shop floor which makes it easy for them to be shoplifted. We have got cigarettes and alcohol behind the counters – so why aren’t knives the same? I want people to feel they can join the campaign and support us.”
The government announced plans for an Offensive Weapons Bill in April, calling for deliveries of knives to residential homes to be made an offence.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Serious violence destroys lives and communities and our Offensive Weapons Bill forms a vital part of the our efforts to keep people safe. It is illegal to sell knives to under-18s, but we know that not all online sellers comply with this law. That is why we want to make it an offence for online sellers to send knives to residential premises.”
They added: “In March 2016, we made a voluntary agreement with major retailers and the British Retail Consortium on a set of principles to prevent the underage sale of knives in their stores and through their websites.”