Police issue advice after Letchworth stabbing sentencing

Knives handed in to Stevenage Police Station. Picture: Herts police

Knives handed in to Stevenage Police Station. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Herts police

Following the sentencing of a 14-year-old Letchworth boy who almost killed another boy with a knife, police have released a statement and advice to those who may feel pressured to carry a knife.

In June this year, a 15-year-old boy had to have emergency surgery after the incident which happened in Jackman’s Place. The 14-year-old was sentenced to five years in a detention centre at St Albans Crown Court on Friday.

In response to the sentencing, Dt Con Gary Larkman from the North Herts local crime unit said: “This was an incident involving a group of people known to one another.

“The offender reacted aggressively over a debt of £20 owed to him, before choosing to use a knife to stab his victim.

“He then left the area without any concern for the victim’s welfare.

“This could have easily been a murder investigation, such was the severity of the victim’s injury, but thankfully he pulled through.

“I hope the sentence handed down gives the offender a change to reflect on his actions and realise that by carrying and using a knife, he has had a lasting negative impact on both the victim’s life and his own.”

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The Comet has reported on 11 stabbings in Stevenage and two in Letchworth since the start of 2018.

To those who may be feeling pressured to carry a knife, a police spokeswoman said: “If you find yourself involved in a gang and your friends carry knives, maybe you’re under pressure to do so as well.

“Your friends might tell you that you’ll be respected or even feared for carrying a weapon.

“Maybe they say you’ll need it for protection. But all it really does is put you and your friends in greater danger.

“Perhaps there’s more to it than that – maybe you feel threatened by your friends and feel you need to carry a weapon for your own protection.

“What could be happening is that you’re being bullied into doing something you don’t want to do.

“If you don’t take a knife with you, it can’t be used. Walking away is often the hardest thing to do, but it’s the safest and won’t get you into trouble with the police.

“It is illegal to carry a knife and if caught you could face up to four years in prison.

“If you do feel pressured to carry a knife, speak to someone you trust like a family member, teacher or police officer, to get support.”

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