Shocking number of youths reveal they have been threatened with knives in Clacton

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A SHOCKING report has revealed almost a quarter of young people in Clacton have been threatened with a knife.

Anti-knife charity Only Cowards Carry surveyed 464 youngsters aged 13 to 18 over five weeks during the summer holidays.

The survey, part of the charity’s Link Up Monday sevent, revealed 31 per cent of young people knew someone who carried a knife and 23 per cent said they had been threatened with a knife, but the findings also revealed 71 per cent of youngsters would tell someone if they knew someone was carrying a blade.

Charity spokesman Natasha Potter said: “This is really positive for the charity as many of the young people explained to our team they felt more confident after having some of our awareness lessons in their school that they knew how to report someone safely and knew the importance of reporting this information and not carrying a weapon.

“This is real progress, we feel.”

The survey also revealed 43 per cent had felt intimidated by or been approached by a gang and that 59 per cent were aware of gangs in school or the local area.

It also revealed weapons was one of the greatest concerns of young people in the town, followed by gangs, drugs and alcohol.

Miss Potter added: “This information will be so valuable for the charity to help us really understand the concerns and areas that we need to address for our educational projects.

“It has been an extremely successful project and has been a great opportunity to really engage with young people in the community and give them the chance to talk openly.”

It is hoped that the Link Up Mondays event will be run during all school holidays.

Only Cowards Carry was set up by Caroline Shearer, of Aster Close, Clacton, after son Jay Whiston, was stabbed to death outside a house party in Colchester in 2012.

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