Gordon Brown returns to Coin Street for ‘No to Knives’ launch
The Prime Minister visited Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre on Thursday morning to launch a 'No to Knives' campaign along with Brooke Kinsella and Richard Taylor.
Young people from across London – including a group from the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey – gathered at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre for a round-table discussion with ministers and celebrities to share ideas about how to tackle knife crime.
The PM was joined by home secretary Jacqui Smith and children's minister Beverley Hughes for the launch of a new coalition bringing together leading figures from business, music and sport, along with community leaders and families of knife crime victims.
"We're sending out a signal to the whole of the country: no to knives; knives should not be on the streets," said Gordon Brown.
"We're going to do everything in our power to persuade all young people not to carry knives."
The PM paid tribute to the sports stars and role models who took part in the event, including Chelsea's Ashley Cole and John Terry.
The members of the coalition, who are all engaged in their own work on this issue, will work together to raise the profile and impact of their work and to take a joint stand against knives.
The launch event was introduced by former EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella whose brother Ben was killed in Islington last summer. The gathering also heard from Richard Taylor, father of murdered Peckham schoolboy Damilola Taylor.
The SE1 area has been affected by several high-profile knife crimes in the past year, including the murder of David Idowu on the Tabard Gardens Estate and a vicious attack in Old Kent Road which left a knife embedded in the victim's skull.
In October a number of local groups came together to launch the Enough! campaign against youth gun and knife crime.
The Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey has been named as one of 13 organisations around the country to receive extra funding to run diversionary activities for young people most at risk of violent crime through mentoring and outreach work.