Hailsham Police launch knife amnesty in town eight months after fatal stabbing

HAILSHAM Police is launching a two-week knife amnesty in the town from next week in the wake of the fatal stabbing earlier this year of Darren Croxton.

The 25-year-old was found with fatal injuries in Bramble Drive, Hailsham last January and died the next day.

In April, some 200 protestors marched along Eastbourne seafront to protest about the dangers of carrying knives.

Now police will be working with youngsters in the town next month to educate them on the dangers of carrying knives, and this will be tied in with a two-week knife amnesty on October 1.

There will be a number of knife bins located around the town centre at Hailsham police station, Hailsham Town Council offices and Wealden District Council’s offices.

Police say that from October 15, they will then begin a crackdown on those caught carrying knives around the town.

Wealden District Commander Chief Inspector Dick Coates said: “Although knife crime is extremely low across Wealden there have been a number of high profile cases in Hailsham. With these in the forefront of our minds, it is imperative that we educate young people of the possible consequences of carrying a bladed item.

“Not only is it illegal, the repercussions can have devastating effects. This amnesty will give members of the public the opportunity to dispose of any knives without prosecution. We will also be out in the town proactively interacting with young people to offer additional advice and support.”

Informing young people of the dangers of carrying knives is at the forefront of the campaign and PC Kate Brookman, Neighbourhood Schools Officer for South Wealden, has been visiting Hailsham Community College this week giving assemblies to children focusing on the dangers of aggression and the risks to themselves and others, through inappropriate actions.

Phil Mathews, Acting Principle at Hailsham Community College, said: “At the college, we place the importance of respect at the heart of our ethos and it has become a major cornerstone in helping to continue to raise standards within the college.

“Through partnership with our Neighbourhood Schools Officer, we focus on the issue of how people treat each other and, we deliver joint assemblies to all students around the topic of community responsibility and the recognition of socially acceptable behaviour.

“I am extremely pleased to work so closely alongside our local police on this issue and there is no doubt that jointly conveying such an important message to all students has a very positive impact.”

Sgt Howard Nevill said: “I am extremely grateful to all of our partners that have come together to support this amnesty. The first week from 24 September is all about education. The following two weeks will give people an opportunity to discard any knives they have in a safe and secure way.

“From October 15 we will then begin a period of enforcement. During this time there will be a series of operations to target any individuals from information that we have received through the campaign to reinforce the message that the police and this community do not want knives to be carried for use in crime.

“Crimestoppers, under their youth brand Fearless, fully supports this campaign, and any information can either be passed anonymously to them on 0800 555 111 or directly to Hailsham police on 101.”

Two people have been charged with murder following Mr Croxton’s death; 18-year-old Stuart Johnson of no fixed abode and a 16-year-old boy from Hailsham.