The sister of a teenager murdered in Bedford is speaking out on the fifth anniversary of her brother’s death to warn of the dangers of carrying knives.
Channitta Lendore is urging people to think twice before they carry a knife as part of a series of videos called ‘Sceptre Stories’.
Isaac Stone died when he was 19, after he was stabbed in Bedford in 2014.
Channitta and three of Isaac’s friends – Ranelle, Lucy and Amir – spoke to Bedfordshire Police about the impact of Isaac’s death.
The force is now releasing the series of videos, in which all four speak honestly about how they heard that Isaac had been murdered and the message they would give to anyone carrying a knife.
Since Isaac was killed, Channitta has continued to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime through her own organisation called Dynamic Decisions, which aims to support young people who are involved in or at risk of knife crime and gang culture.
She said: “Although it has been five years since Isaac left us, his presence is still hugely missed in our family. It has been five hard years and no matter how much we as a family have tried to repair ourselves, it has been an impossible task, there is just a huge Isaac shaped void that cannot be fixed. His laugh, smile and personality fill our memories daily, but that is just it; we only have memories and quite frankly that is just not enough. No matter how much we try to accept Isaac’s death we can’t, it’s something you learn to live with because you have no choice, but it will never be accepted.
“What really saddens me is that more and more families are sharing our reality. It seems people have not learnt from Isaac’s death as we are repeatedly seeing our young people lose their lives to senseless knife crimes. The reality is there is nothing glamorous about serious life threatening injuries or worse, like being in a mortuary and 6ft in the ground, nor is it glamorous for the perpetrators who lose their lives to long prison sentences.
“If I could give one message to our young people it is please think about your actions, please leave the knife at home. When you carry a knife it puts you in more danger and as you can see no one wins in this situation. Please access support, it is out there for you—your lives are worth more than this, your lives are worth living!”
Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire from Bedfordshire Police said: “Operation Sceptre is the force’s dedicated approach to tackling knife crime, which continues to be a priority for us. We felt it was important to show people the reality of what it’s like to lose a loved one to knife crime, which is how the idea for Sceptre Stories came about.
“My message to young people is always the same: please don’t carry a knife. But I know that this message has more impact if it comes from the friends and family of victims, which is why the videos from Channitta, Ranelle, Lucy and Amir are so important.”
Bedfordshire Police continues to encourage people with any information about knife crime to report it. You can either call 101, report online at www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report or call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.