‘Something needs to change’: Latest spate of Wellingborough knife incidents leaves residents worried
Local residents speak about recent string of cases involving knives
By Natalie Bloomer
Just two days after a man in the Queensway area of Wellingborough was stabbed on Saturday morning, police were called to yet another knife incident in the town.
On Monday night a group of males were attacked on Fulmar Lane on the Hemmingwell estate with one being taken to Coventry hospital with a chest and hand wound.
The weekend prior to the Queensway incident, a 14-year-old boy was chased out of Croyland Park in Wellingborough after he and his friends were approached by a group of boys who produced knives.
NN Journal has also heard unconfirmed reports of a similar incident involving other teenage boys in the town the same weekend.
This latest string of knife related cases comes almost a year after local residents took to the streets to demand change following the murder of 16 year-old Dylan Holliday who was stabbed multiple times in the town.
Yesterday NN Journal headed out to the town centre to hear what people’s views are on the issue now. While many had plenty to say, a significant number said they didn’t want to talk about the issue publicly and those who did were cautious about giving their names. For this reason only first names have been used.
Gemma, 44 and daughter Hannah, 20
Hannah: “Dylan was a few years younger than me and that really affected me. It affected everybody really. It felt like everyone was saying that it needed to stop but a year on and I don’t think anything has got better and people don’t seem to be speaking about it as much anymore - it’s like it’s just accepted.”
Gemma: “It was awful what happened to poor Dylan, it’s definitely a concern for young people now I think. I worry about how easy it is for them to get a knife, we all have them in the kitchen, they can just grab one easily.”
David, who grew up on the Hemmingwell estate
“I think it reflects a problem in society. I was speaking to a family recently who live on Hemmingwell and they said they don’t let their 15 year-old out alone anymore.
“What happened to kids fighting with fists, it’s not right either but at least they weren’t likely to die. What’s the answer?”
Amy, from Kingsway
“There’s a lot of knife crime in Wellingborough now, I hear about things all the time. The kids come home and tell you about it. Not just stabbings but people being threatened with knives. I worry every time my teenager leaves the house.”
“I have three grown up children and grandchildren. I hear about knife stuff all the time, kids carrying knives or someone being stabbed. My kids are 23, 28, and 30 but I worry about them getting stabbed with everything that’s been happening.”
“We see a lot of police on my street so I hope that if anything happens, it will be dealt with, but it’s still scary. Something needs to change - we can’t have kids being killed by other kids with knives. It never used to be like this, I don’t understand why it is now, I don’t know what they’re thinking.”
Councillor for Queensway in Wellingborough Matt Binley told NN Journal that knife crime is a concern for everyone and it will take a societal change to improve things.
“It’s a very sad state of affairs that some people think they should carry knives and it’s a problem right across the country. As the chief constable Nick Adderley has said previously the police can’t arrest themselves out of this - it’s a case of partnership working. Something I discussed with him [Adderley] a couple of weeks ago is that I think we have to go back to the grassroots and start at school level.
“There’s always more that can be done by authorities but I think it goes back to something needing to change in society. It’s not the responsibility of any one group or organisation but of all of us. We saw that following the death of Dylan, the way the community responded was by saying that carrying a knife is not acceptable and things had to change.”
Last month Wellingborough MP Peter Bone met with police chief Nick Adderley and police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold to discuss crime in the town.
In response to a tweet from Bone about the meeting, Adderley said it was good to share with him the successes the force was having in Wellingborough, adding:
“Working with all the relevant agencies, third sector and volunteers, we will continue to make Wellingborough an even safer place to live and work.”
The forces lead on knife crime Adam Ward said recently:
“Knife crime remains a matter of priority for the force, and it is important that we continue work with our communities to prevent and tackle this type of offending…It’s always important to remember that most of us do not carry knives and will probably never be affected by knife crime but sadly, we have also seen the harm caused to families and communities through the tragic loss of life relating to knife crime.
“The enforcement and proactive work we do is only one part of the solution to this issue. We all have an important role to play in tackling and preventing knife crime by raising awareness of the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife.
“We would encourage parents and carers to talk to their children about the hazards of carrying a knife and we would ask anyone with information about somebody in their community they think may carry a knife to get in touch with us.”