On Monday the 20th of January, James Edmondston, the Substance Misuse Officer for Leicestershire Police, visited North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College’s Hinckley College campus to discuss knife crime activities and prevention on drug use.
Edmondston gave a terrifying example of a recent knife crime, where a 10-year-old and their mother were both brutally stabbed to death in Leicester town centre by an attacker carrying a knife.
College students were shown harrowing footage of the street death of 17-year-old teenager Lauric Lebato. The entire attack was over in less than three minutes.
Students were also shown CCTV footage of an encounter in Market Harborough, where two rival drug dealers unexpectedly met each other in a block of flats.
They had an initial discussion explaining that they both thought they had ‘taken over’ the flats, however one of the dealers struck the other in with a knife in a violent act.
The victim then proceeded to attack the attacker with his own knife. They both survived and ran off from the flats. They were later arrested.
When Notizie’s Editorial Team asked Edmondston as to why young people still use drugs, he said: “As for some young people choosing to use drugs, the reasons are numbers are often unique to the individual.
Increasingly we are seeing young people turn to drugs in attempt to self-medicate for stress or anxiety. In general, there is poor knowledge amongst young people of the effects and potential risk of drugs.
This is something we try to combat through education of both young people but also professionals such as teachers and youth workers.”
Overall thoughts and opinions on the event between staff and students were mixed.
Hinckley college student, 17-year-old Christopher Maxwell said: “The students in our class knew more about the subject than the lecturer himself. My classmates were definitely more educated than he assumed.
They have been doing these videos in schools for years and crime rates have only gone up. They need to more than just chat with the students and show them a video.”
Mia Newman and Dylan Fraser, students at the college said: “We think that the presentation has raised awareness. A lot of people are saying that they have learnt stuff that they did not know.”
Mia later added: “The video where the nurse was describing performing open-heart surgery on the side of the pavement was quite disturbing, and it made me feel sick.”
Lecturer at the College, Lloyd Miller said: “I was only there for part of the presentation. It made me feel nauseous and poorly.
The use of the descriptions of the events had a bigger impact on me, because I was picturing things probably more graphic than they would have been.”
Tony Lee, another lecturer at the College campus said: “It won’t stop knife crime, but it may affect a few people to think not to do it. They may tell someone else to dispose of their knives and get rid of them.
I personally think it won’t stop it, it’s there to make people aware it’s the wrong thing to do.”