A TRUST dedicated to removing knives from our streets is supporting a campaign to tackle the issue in North Wales communities.

The Flintshire North policing team, in partnership with The Leader, Coleg Cambria, and the Ben Kinsella Trust, launched a week of action and awareness to tackle knife crime at the start of the week.

Most parts of Wales have seen an overall increase in knife crime this year.

1,467 offences were recorded in Wales in December 2020, up from 1,350 in December 2019. Knife crime is now 250 per cent higher in Wales than it was in March 2014.

The Ben Kinsella Trust said the figures make “grim reading for Wales”

Trust is supporting the campaign - which is using the hashtags #stopknifecrime, #stopknifecrimeflintshire and #YouCanSaveaLife

What happened to Ben is a stark reminder of the dangers of knives.

Like his older half-sister Brooke Kinsella, who played Kelly Taylor in EastEnders, Ben had been involved in acting and had a promising future ahead of him.

The trust says: “Ben was just 16 years old when he was stabbed to death in a horrific act of senseless violence on 29th June 2008.

“Ben had been out at a local pub to celebrate the end of his GCSEs with his friends. On their way home, he and his friends realised they were being followed by three older teenagers. Scared and worried, they decided to run home.

“But the older teenagers chased after them. They were seeking revenge for an altercation in the club that had taken place earlier that evening. Ben and his friends had absolutely nothing to do with the altercations, but when the older boys caught up with Ben, in an entirely unprovoked attack, they stabbed him to death.

“Ben was the 17th teenager to be killed in London that year.”

Trust CEO Patrick Green told the Leader that knife crime was not just a big city problem - the consequences of their use can and have been felt in towns and villages in North Wales.

He said: “We often underplay talking about prevention and how important it is. Young people know - or think they know - more about knife crime than we realise. It is important to get good messages across. Only a small number of young people think a knife will protect them - but it is a myth. It’s the worst thing you can do.

“We want to make young people realise the devastating impact knife crime can have, not just on themselves and the person they made have disagreed with, but also their families, friends and the wider community.”

Sgt Matt Subacchi, who is leading the campaign, added: “Ben’s story has always been one that struck a chord with me, I remember reading it in the newspapers.

“It is the story of a young boy celebrating his GCSE results who was fatally stabbed.”