Friday brief: Anti-knife group devise strategy

Plus an update on Tuesday's tragic murder in Kettering, community news and some cultural events you can enjoy this weekend

Representatives of North Northamptonshire Council, Northants Police, local schools and other organisations gathered in Wellingborough this week for the latest community meeting organised by the anti-knife crime group Off The Streets.

The group, which was formed following the murder of 16 year-old Dylan Holliday on the Queensway estate in the town, has held several meetings and events to discuss ways to tackle knife crime in the area.

This week they launched their community strategy which identified a number of key priorities for local people. This included the need to increase opportunities for young people, making the area a safer place to live and work and campaigning for local government to tackle child poverty in North Northants. 

The group has begun a programme of visiting primary schools to talk about knife crime and has also been involved with community clean-up events. 

The Northants Police lead on knife crime Supt Adam Ward attended the meeting and praised the group for the progress it has made in the nine weeks since it formed.

“If you can do this in nine weeks, imagine where we could be in nine months,” he told the room.

“I’m telling you now, we can make your communities safer, we want to get it right, we want to do better and we will do better. My promise to you is if we don’t get it right the first time we’ll keep trying until we do.”

One member of Off The Streets who is also the mother of two young sons told the meeting she was scared about their future.

“As parents we need to speak out, don’t stay quiet, don’t avoid meetings like this because you think you won’t be heard. I’m speaking as a fellow parent, please speak up.”

New in brief:

  • Police have named the 31-year-old woman found murdered in Kettering on Tuesday as Marta Chmielecka.

    Police discovered Marta’s body at a house in Wood Street after forcing entry and they also found a man, 38, at the address with serious injuries. They say they are treating the man as a suspect although no charges have been made as yet.

    Officers are appealing for anyone who was in Wood Street on Friday, October 15 between 10.30pm and 11pm to come forward.

    Detective Inspector Pete Long from the Major Crime Team who is leading the murder investigation said:  “Even if you think you saw nothing, if you were in the area between these times, please contact us.”

    People can  call us police on 101 or submit information via the portal: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/33EM21D81-PO1

  • Residents of Corby turned out to protest about knife crime at a march on Saturday.

    The death of 16-year-old Rayon Pennycook who was fatally stabbed during a fight on the Hazel Leys estate in Corby during the summer, has brought into sharp focus how young people’s lives in our county are being blighted by  violence involving knives.

    The march was organised by Corby councillors, Cllr Zoe McGhee and Cllr Simon Rielly and afterwards a number of public speakers shared the message that the event was about raising awareness and giving support to young people.


Community news

Northamptonshire Sport has  launched a new consultation of 14-24 year olds across Hazel Leys/ Kingswood in Corby and Queensway in Wellingborough about what is wanted in terms of sporting/ physical activity opportunities. They’re also asking when and where they want it, what they want to get out of it and what might stop them currently from taking part in activities.

The consultation can be found online via https://www.northamptonshiresport.org/doorstepsport


Independent of the week

🏆 Explore Chocolate, Finedon

This artisan chocolate company is owned by Matt Green, who is celebrating a win this week in the One to Watch category at the Weetabix Food and Drink Awards.

A former chef at the Palmichael in Burton Latimer, he hand crafts his chocolate, which can be bought by mail order here.

The chocolatier also offers taster courses for those who love their chocolate.


NN Culture

🏠 The Chester House estate near Irchester opens to the public tomorrow. Parking is free, but needs to be booked before hand - you can do so here

🎥 A film by Northampton writer Alan Moore which was also shot in the town was released this week. The Show, directed by Mitch Jenkins and starring Tom Burke and Ellie Bamber, is available on digital platforms now.

💃 An Autumn shindig is being held on the Queensway field in Wellingborough this Saturday between 11am - 4pm. The free event organised by Made With Many will include music, dance, crafts, food and storytelling.

Book a place via Eventbrite at bit.ly/BookShindig to guarantee your place and receive a free drink voucher on entry or turn up and register upon arrival.


Tell us the news

Thanks to everyone who has given us a tip off or call this week. If you have a story that you would like us to look into you can contact Sarah or Natalie by email at sarahward@nnjournal.co.uk or Nbloomer@nnjournal.co.uk

All emails will be treated in the strictest of confidence.


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Northants councils to recommend face masks in schools
By Natalie Bloomer The North and West Northamptonshire unitary councils will recommend a return to the wearing of face masks in secondary schools, NN Journal understands. Yesterday we reported concerns from unions over the lack of action from Public Health Northamptonshire and the local authorities in regards to rising Covid rates in our schools…
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