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Petition launched in Brent for new law to curb knife murders in London

PUBLISHED: 16:49 14 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:49 15 December 2015

Victims (left to right): Josh Hanson, Haile Lunga and Che Labastide-Wellington

Victims (left to right): Josh Hanson, Haile Lunga and Che Labastide-Wellington

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A team of anti-knife crime campaigners from Wembley are asking residents to back a petition calling on parliament to ban knife sales to under-21s in a bid to save young lives.

The Wembley Crime Prevention team has launched a petition calling on parliament to raise the minimum purchase age on knives in shops and online retailers from 18 to 21.

If it reaches 100,000 signatures, the petition, which was launched on December 1, will automatically be considered for a debate by MPs in the House of Commons chamber.

The move follows a marked jump in the number of fatal stabbings and violent knife-crime offences across London this year.

Last month, Che Labastide-Wellington, 17, and Haile Langa, 21, were stabbed to death in Kenton and Kilburn, respectively, within days of one another.

In October, 21-year-old Josh Hanson from Kingsbury, was stabbed to death in a bar in Eastcote.

The petition, posted by Keith Harwood, CEO of Wembley Crime Prevention (WCP), on the House of Commons website states: “With increased youth knife crime, restrict sell by retailers to over 21s.”

Mr Harwood, who launched the petition at the start of WCP’s “Just Don’t” campaign, told the Times: “We want to have a debate in Parliament because MPs need to take action to tighten the law on knife crime rather than just talking about it.

“I think people are more mature at 21 and have realized what impact a criminal record has on their life chances- they need to know if they are caught with a knife, then that’s a criminal record forever.

“I want the purchase age restricted in order to protect them from harm’s way. At the moment you can just walk into any store on the high street and pick one up so we also need action on the way knives are displayed to ensure they are kept locked in cases and safe from theft.”

The petition adds: “Innocent young people are sadly losing their lives daily to this vicious circle often through unnecessary violent confrontations. Wembley Crime Prevention feel the restricted sale of knives from retailers & on-line should be to over 21s.”

For more information or to lend your support to the petition visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/113992.

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