Parents' knife crime fears

April 08 2022

PARENTS concerned about their children being threatened with knives have confronted local police.

Neighbourhood constables PC Aaron Ashforth and PC Jack Withers were called to account at the Kingswood Community Engagement Forum.

Four parents attended the meeting to complain their children had been targeted by an individual teenager or gang of teenagers carrying a knife.

One mother, Helen, said one of the parents at the meeting had had her Year 7 son accosted in Kingswood Park by a gang of four school children.

She said: “They threatened him with a knife, forced him to his knees, made him sing to them, recorded it and uploaded it on social media.

“Those same four children have been terrorising Kingswood and Hanham. The escalation is now they’re using knives. 

“It’s come to a point for me personally that my child is unable to leave the house because two of these individuals live literally a two-minute walk either side. He’s not safe in school, he’s been attacked in school, he’s not safe out of school. I’m getting stones thrown at my windows by these children. And yet it seems like the police have no power to take these individuals in house,  to 

confiscate their phones and do due diligence to try and do something about  these families.

“Something has to be done before somebody gets stabbed.”

Another parent, Scott, said his son had told him the main offender had been sent by the police on a knife crime course but it hadn’t helped.

He said: “He’s subsequently managed to get hold of another knife and he’s back out doing it again.

“As parents that are on here this evening we would just like some assurance that certain individuals now with repeat offences for knife crime are going to be dealt with.

“My son has also gone through the same experience that Helen’s has, with being frightened and not being able to go out.”

PC Ashforth said: “We have taken these incidents hugely seriously. There have been five incidents and only in a couple of those have knives been seen. 

“It is being investigated and as you rightly say it is the most concerning thing for us that a young person would even consider having a knife.

“There’s a lot we can’t share about it because it relates to ongoing investigations but even today we’ve been spending time in Kingswood park. 

“We know who those people are that you mentioned and it is very much on our radar.

He offered to tell parents who were directly affected more about the investigation in private after the Community Engagement Forum ended.

PC Ashforth also revealed the latest crime figures for Kingswood over a three-month period.

These included 131 violence against the person offences, 64 thefts, 37 public order offences, 33 arson and criminal damage offences and 25 burglaries.