Residents In Borough Where Jodie Chesney Was Killed Launch Anti-Knife Patrol

MPs said residents in Romford had lost confidence in the way knife offenders were being dealt with in the courts.

Residents in the borough where Jodie Chesney was fatally stabbed have launched a patrol to remove knives from the streets of Romford, an MP said.

The ‘Take A Knife, Save A Life’ initiative sees locals from the London Borough of Havering talking to local youngsters on the street and asking them to give up knives.

Conservative MP Julia Lopez told parliament that residents in the east London area, which she does not represent, had come together following 17-year-old Chesney’s “brutal and utterly senseless” murder, amid what she said was a “national emergency”.

Four people have been arrested after Chesney was stabbed in the back in a park in the Harold Hill area on March 1. She had been listening to music with her friends.

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The efforts come amid a loss in confidence in the way the courts deal with knife offences, MPs said.

“The community response to Jodie’s murder has been profound, with marches and memorial,” Lopez, who is the MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, said.

“There has also been practical action, whether through support for a stronger Harold Hill street watch team or new initiatives such as the Take a Knife, Save a Life campaign, which seeks to collect weapons from the streets.”

“She added: “Many of my constituents want a far tougher regime, because they have lost confidence in the deterrent effect of the existing sentences.”

Lopez was speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on a petition calling for tougher sentences for people using and carrying blades.

The campaign group, which was set up after Chesney’s death, is crowdfunding for uniforms and stab proof vests.

It comes as the government earlier this month announced a further £100m fund to tackle violent knife crime, an injection which has been criticised by some as a “drop in the ocean”.

Lopez has previously spoken of the death of Chesney, who was not her constituent but attended sixth form college within her constituency.