Grieving mother from Brent welcomes gun amnesty
- Credit: Archant
A mother whose son was shot dead the day after a national gun amnesty campaign began has welcomed the Met’s latest drive to take weapons off the street.
Last week, the #giveupyourgun amnesty lasting a fortnight was rolled out across London which allows people to hand in firearms and ammunitions anonymously at a police station.
Patsy Hopwood-Clarke, from Dollis Hill, lost her 21-year-old son Kavian Francis-Hopwood when he was gunned down on the Stonebridge Estate the day after a national gun amnesty was rolled out in April 2003.
His killer has never been caught.
Mrs Hopwood-Clarke said: “If somebody’s life can be saved from doing this amnesty that would be great. That will prevent another murder and another family from going through what I have been through.
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“It’s over 11 years now, the police have bought no-one to justice, no-one has been arrested, his killer has not been caught.
Since her son’s death Mrs Hopwood-Clarke, a committed Christian, has campaigned passionately against gun crime and established an annual peace march in 2004 which took place in Brent for five years.
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She continued: “The battle is not mine, the battle belongs with the Lord, so I have to trust he will give me peace.
“If it hadn’t been for the Lord that was on my side I wouldn’t be talking to you today, I would have been in a psychiatric unit because it messed up my family life, it messed up my kid’s life.
“I don’t want the parents and siblings to go through what we’ve been through so congratulations to the police for holding this amnesty but I do hope that when people do bring their gun or tells them someone has a gun they don’t arrest the informant.”
The police say those surrendering firearms may not face prosecution for illegal possession and they can remain anonymous, however each live weapon will be forensically checked for evidence.
Last year 300 guns were seized in proactive operations. This is the first scheme in six years, re-launched to avoid guns “getting into the wrong hands.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon, Head of Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “The surrender provides an opportunity to significantly reduce the number of firearms in circulation on the streets of London.
He added: “I appeal to anyone who owns an antique firearm or legally owns a gun but who no longer requires it is, please hand it in.
“Whether it belongs to you, your son or daughter, brother or sister, friend or partner, by handing it in you are preventing one more weapon falling into the hands of criminals.”
Roger Critchell, Director of Operations for Crimestoppers, said: “We want the public to know that we take crime seriously and that, with their help, we can make London a safer place to live.”
For more information visit met.police.uk/giveupyourgun/