Hertfordshire University hosted an event to help young people learn about the consequences of gangs
Quinton Green, who is also a DJ, performed a spoken word piece at the Lives not Knives event, which saw young people from Hertfordshire and their parents and guardians learn about the consequences of getting involved in violent crime and gangs.
The talk on Tuesday, February 11, was organised by the police and overseen by Luton Crown Court Judge Barbara Mensah, she explained how joint enterprise can mean that by being present during a violent crime, you can be convicted even if you took no part in the crime.
Rapper Quinton Green brought the evening to a close with a powerful performance of his spoken word piece, ‘The Knife Sentence’ and spoke about the music project he is currently running in partnership with Hertfordshire Police and YC Hertfordshire.
Paramedic Sharon Anthony spoke about the reality of responding to knife crime incidents and saving lives in London and Darren Awolesi, from Reach Every Generation, spoke about living with the effects of violence after he was shot in March 2011.
Adam Davidson, from Hertfordshire Sports Partnership (HSP), spoke about how he has turned his life around through boxing and Josh Spavins, also from HSP, launched their new project “Career Mode.”
Tracey Hanson’s son, Josh, was murdered in an unprovoked knife attack in 2015 and Tracey recounted the traumatic experience of losing a child to knife crime and the devastating effect that this has had on her family.
Sergeant Helen Croughton from the Gangs and Schools team said: “This is the fourth Lives not Knives event that we have run, aimed at young people at risk of criminal exploitation.
"We have a variety of inspirational speakers who talk about their own experiences and the devastating reality of violence, knife crime and gang affiliation.
"This allows the young people to hear the reality rather than the façade of the glamourous lifestyle which they often believe is being offered.
“This event really has an impact upon the young people who attend and encourages them to make positive choices and recognise dangerous situations and friendships.
"After the presentations, we have a wide range of partner agencies offering positive alternatives for the young people to engage with ranging from sports programmes, apprenticeships and music interventions.
"We will continue to work with those at risk of gang affiliation and associated criminality to help them achieve positive change.”
Anyone who is concerned about gang or knife crime can call Hertfordshire Police on 101.