It is time to talk to each other about the painful impact a recent rise in knife crime has left on our communities.
Shocked and saddened by the tragic killing of 15-year-old Elianne Andam, who was stabbed to death on her way to school six weeks ago, the South London Press has launched its Time to Talk campaign.
It aims to encourage parents, guardians and all adults to speak to young people about the harms of carrying a knife, and to look out for signs to prevent knife crime.
This campaign is an opportunity to listen and to learn about the harmful impacts of knife crime, and how we can help our children.
Croydon and South London grieved on Saturday as the family of 15-year-old Elianne Andam held an emotional procession through the streets of where she once lived, before her funeral commenced.
The teenager was fatally attacked on September 27 outside the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon on her way to school. A 17-year-old boy has been charged with her murder and is due to face trial on April 29, 2024.
Speaking at Elianne’s funeral, Anthony King, chairman of the My Ends programme in Croydon, which supports various organisations which aim to steer young people away from knife crime, said Croydon had lost “a daughter”.
Speaking to the South London Press, Mr King said: “Sadly, in recent weeks we have been grieving the loss of one our daughters, our young lady, Elianne Andam.
“Elianne had her GCSEs ahead of her and has had her life cut short by this diabolical virus on our streets called ‘knife crime’.
“My team in Croydon on the My Ends programme, funded by the violence reduction unit (at the Mayor’s Office), went from being the teenage murder capital of London in 2021 to having 22 months of no teenage murders, until our beloved Elianne.
“Croydon is a God-blessed borough, and we have lost one of our beautiful children. In my culture, I’m from a Jamaican background, my mum married a Nigerian man, and we refer to Elianne as our daughter.
“Our funded grassroots organisations are doing an incredible job, and we will not give up and remain committed to seeing change on the streets of Croydon.
“We encourage the Government to invest in our organisations to continue the relentless work. I will work with the Mayor of London, the MPs, the dignitaries and all of the organisations – the schools, the faith communities and every family.
“We will work and stand together to do what we can to take this disgusting, diabolical, vile illness off our streets.
“Elianne has crossed over. Our daughter has left us. This knife crime epidemic and pandemic and crisis that we’re facing needs to be eradicated from the streets of London.
“I look at the Andam family, and I pray that no other family has to go through what you’re enduring at this moment.”
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