• Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Knife crime: Unending trauma for victims’ families

Anita Nahar claims she often becomes frustrated when talking to the parents of other people killed as a result of knife violence

Picture for representation only. (iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

Families of knife killings want people to understand the tragic consequences and more stringent measures be taken to curb the menace.

Barely a year ago, 25-year-old Ashish Nahar was stabbed at a park in Bedford. His mother Anita Nahar remembers him as a “fun, happy, cheerful and very caring boy”, she told BBC.

Recalling that fateful day (June 29, 2023), she said she told her friend how well Ashish was doing. Barely three hours later she had to inform her about the tragic incident.

Anita claims she often becomes frustrated when talking to the parents of other people killed as a result of knife violence.

She hopes speaking about her experience would mean Ashish’s death was “not in vain” andd wants knife crimes to end.

Anita wants parents to sensitise their children about knives and its potential for damage. “Talk to your child, the way you teach them about sexual abuse and strangers,” she told BBC.

For Nahar’s grandfather Darshan Lall, it was has been a struggle to come to terms with the loss. “Life changed in just a few seconds,” he said.

Lall finds it heartbreaking to face his grieving daughter and struggles to comfort her.

He joins his daughter in supporting police action to target people carrying knives.

Ashish died of a single stab wound to the heart by a teenager Kamil Serba, who was jailed for 14-and-a-half years.

The family of Ben Hardwidge, 22, who died in a knife attack 20 years ago in the Essex village of Birchanger too faces a similar trauma.

His brother James Hardwidge, 40, said his family has never recovered, and he still finds it very difficult to talk about the incident.

He says he wants people to realise the impact of knife crime. “It destroys lives, destroys families not just for the victim but the person doing it.”

Police measures

The police at Essex and Bedfordshire are carrying out drives to keep knives off the streets.

In Essex, police destroyed more than 23,000 weapons last year. They have put up detection gates in the city centre to deter people from bringing a knife.

In Bedfordshire, the police force has introduced a new initiative called Just Drop It, calling upon people to surrender their weapons by dropping them into weapons bins.

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