Brent mother of murdered schoolboy Quamari urges public to report knife crime

Mothers whose sons were the victims of fatal knife crime Lorraine Jones (left) and Lillian Serunkuma.

Mothers whose sons were the victims of fatal knife crime Lorraine Jones (left) and Lillian Serunkuma (right) hold photographs of their sons as they attend the launch of a new knife crime campaign, Hard Calls Save Lives, which is supported by the Metropolitan Police Service and Crimestoppers, New Scotland Yard, London. Picture taken on April 8, 2021. - Credit: PA

Mother Lilian Serunkuma, whose son was stabbed in Willesden in 2017, is urging the public to report information about knife crime.

Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes, 15, was stabbed three times as he was leaving Capital City Academy at the end of the school day. 

He attempted to run away but the perpetrator caught up with him. When his mother arrived at the scene, Quamari told her not to worry, and to put her seatbelt on when they were in the ambulance. 

He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries. 

In the aftermath, Ms Serunkuma called her auntie to let her know that Quamari had been stabbed. "She just screamed. That was the hardest thing about that day," she told the Times.

Ms Serunkuma has participated in a series of short films with four other mothers who have lost their sons to knife crime in London. 

In the films, the mothers recall the difficult calls they have to make after discovering the stabbings. They are central to the ‘Hard Calls Save Lives’ campaign, set up to urge people to call Crimestoppers with information, however minor, about knife crime. It is supported by the Metropolitan Police.

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At an online launch event for the campaign today, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “We’ve been looking at all the places, times and indeed individuals - prolific knife carriers - and trying to do our level best to be prepared to reduce as much as we possibly can any rise in street offences.”

Recent government figures show that 590 incidents of knife crime occurred in Brent between 2019 and 2020 - a decrease of 90 incidents from the previous year. 

Mothers whose sons were the victims of fatal knife crime.

Mothers whose sons were the victims of fatal knife crime (left to right) Lorraine Jones, Yvonne Lawson, Lillian Serunkuma, Jean Foster, and Becky Beston attend the launch of a new knife crime campaign, Hard Calls Save Lives, which is supported by the Metropolitan Police Service and Crimestoppers. - Credit: PA

Ms Serunkuma said: "It can be hard to make the call to say someone is involved in knife crime, especially if it’s someone you know or love. But it’s so much harder if you don’t. 

“It’s almost as bad to lose a child or a friend to prison as it is to lose them if they’re killed.

“Either way, they’re going to suffer as a result of the knife crime.” 

Information about knife crime can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800555111. Read more about Ms Serunkuma’s story at www.hardcallssavelives.co.uk/read-our-stories/quamaris-story/

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