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Josh Hanson murder: Mother urges action on knife epidemic

PUBLISHED: 10:48 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:48 28 March 2018

Tracey Hanson, mother of murdered Josh Hanson, at a peace march held by families of knife crime victims at Islington Green. Photo Catherine Davison

Tracey Hanson, mother of murdered Josh Hanson, at a peace march held by families of knife crime victims at Islington Green. Photo Catherine Davison

Catherine Davison

The mother of a Kingsbury man murdered in an unprovoked stabbing has made an urgent call for action to address the borough’s knife epidemic.

Josh Hanson was stabbed to death on October 11 2015Josh Hanson was stabbed to death on October 11 2015

Three stabbings occurred within three days on the streets of Brent this week where two teenagers were taken to hospital and one man killed.

Tracey Hanson’s 21-year-old son Josh was partying with his girlfriend and friends inside the RE Bar in Eastcote when his killer walked up to him and stabbed him in the neck in October 2015.

Police continue to hunt Shane O’Brien in connection with the murder. He has been named as one of the UK’s most wanted men and there is a £20,000 reward for his capture.

Ms Hanson, who attended an “Enough is Enough” march against knife crime on Sunday said: “It’s a very depressing time for people to see this awful epidemic, I see it everyday. People walk around in fear, boys and girls are afraid of going out, society is scared – if you say the wrong thing, if you want to help someone in distress, again, no-one knows what to do.

Appeal posters have been put up all over the worldAppeal posters have been put up all over the world

“Josh was killed 19 months today (Thursday). The person in connection with my son’s murder is wanted for a totally unprovoked knife attack.”

She said: “In order for anything to work we, the community, families, children themselves, police and the government, need to work together and it needs to be cohesive.

“Without all of these elements working together we’re not going to find positive solutions, we might get temporary solutions but that’s not enough.”

Ms Hanson launched The Josh Hanson Trust in December running a campaign along side the charity to help disaffected youth, provide support to families, to those affected by knife crime and fight for the prevention of knife crime.

Active on social media the #justiceforjosh facebook page has received 28, 600 likes.

She said: “The charity helps individuals through recreation and leisure time, sport and art and self expression.

“Josh was a fun guy, he was happy, he worked extremely hard, went to the gym and he liked to party, and rightly so, he was young and living his life.

His memory needs a positive legacy of love and compassion, to empower others, and replace fear with love.

Fear creates anger, hate and division. Love is strength, coming together. Let’s do this: let’s make a difference.”

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