A CAMPAIGNER is imploring residents of North Wales and beyond to get behind an effort to tackle knife crime.

The Leader has covered numerous knife-related deaths across Wrexham and Flintshire over the years - and many more incidents of people carrying and using blades come before the courts each week.

Edwin Duggan, from Shotton, launched a petition calling on the Government to create a dedicated Minister for Knife Crime Prevention in June.

Its deadline looms - on December 19 - and Mr Duggan said he cannot believe that at just over 4,000 signatures, it falls short of the number needed for a response from the Government (10,000) or consideration for a debate in parliament (100,000.)

Mr Duggan was responsible for driving forward the successful Jade's Law campaign, which arose after Shotton man Russell Marsh was convicted of brutally murdering his estranged wife and mother to their four children, 27-year-old Jade Ward. 

The Jade's Law Campaign sought to suspend the parental responsibility of a parent who kills the other parent.

Its petition surpassed 130,000 signatures and the issue was debated by MPs.

And in October, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk outlined plans to introduce the law before Parliament by the end of the year.

The Leader: Edwin Duggan Edwin Duggan (Image: UGC)Mr Duggan, 56, is now calling on the public to help take his knife crime petition past the target in the hope of having MPs debate it.

He said: "I remain dumfounded that the numbers still fall short.

To view and sign the petition, click here

"My only conclusion is that people are resigned to the fact that nothing can be done, or they just have no confidence in the present Government and feel that things will never change so why bother?

"The petition still has four weeks to go before it expires. There is still time for people to make a final attempt to force the Government to debate the issue.  

"Does there need to be yet another murder of a young person before the general public get on board?  Everyone who reads this should sign the petition and share it on their social media pages.

"Having a dedicated minister specifically assigned to prevent knife crime would demonstrate that the Government recognises the severity of the issue and is committed to tackling it. 

"It would send a strong message that knife crime is a priority and requires targeted efforts.

"This is a last ditch attempt to secure the debate, so I implore everyone to sign the petition."