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Young people log on to live streaming Lives not Knives event

28 Jul 2020
  • Almost a hundred people watched a live streamed #Livesnotknives event

  • The event was hosted by the Gangs and Schools team to raise awareness of knife crime 

  • The event featured speakers talking about their experiences of violent crime

Nearly a hundred people logged on to watch Hertfordshire Constabulary’s first live streamed #Livesnotknives event, broadcast via Instagram on Thursday 23 July.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Children and Young Persons team and Herts Sports Partnership, invited speakers with first-hand experience of serious violence to share their personal stories.

First speaker, Darren Awolesi, spoke about how he sustained serious gunshot injuries and the impact that this has had on his life, how his positive attitude has enabled his recovery and his plea to young people to think carefully about the choices they are making.

Alison Cope then spoke about the devastating murder of her son, Josh Ribera, appealing to young people and parents to just "do their best" and really think about the reality of carrying a weapon and the consequences that it can have. Alison also spoke about how she keeps Josh's memory alive in the work that she now does around knife crime and serious violence.

Quinton Green, a spoken word artist, performed "Knife sentence" and another poem, "A letter to my youngers", written especially for the event. Quinton also spoke about being the victim of a stabbing and how music has changed and shaped his life. He encouraged young people to use their passion and hard work to achieve their goals.

Sergeant Helen Croughton from the Gangs and Schools team said: "The event is designed make young people, parents and professionals look behind the reality of the headlines which we are often so desensitised to, to understand the true trauma and tragedy that comes from carrying a weapon and being involved in serious violence. We had parents who logged on to watch this with their teenagers and this encourages families to have those important conversations about staying safe and making the right choices. Nearly 100 people joined the event live and the feedback has been very positive.

“I would like to thank our speakers Alison Cope, Darren Awolsei and Quinton Green for speaking about their personal stories and trauma to try and help others. This is always very hard to hear but it is so important that we have those conversations. This is the first time that we have live streamed the event and it enabled us to reach a wider audience, so it’s a great way to get the preventative message out there. Listening to speakers with lived experience really encourages young people to think about their choices and empowers them to make change. We would also like to thank Herts Sports Partnership for their help and support in running the event. Partnership working is key in providing opportunities for young people in Hertfordshire and we have a wide range of partners that we work with."

If you missed the event but would like to watch visit:

If you would like to be kept up to date with future events and the work that The Gangs and Schools team so then you can follow them on twitter @HertsCYP.

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