On the fifth anniversary of Isaac Stone’s death, his sister Channitta Lendore has been helping Bedfordshire Police to carry out a street sweep for knives and weapons in Bedford.
Isaac was stabbed and killed on Costin Street, Bedford in 2014 when he was just 19.
Four men were later found guilty and jailed for taking his life.
Now, Channitta has joined Bedfordshire Police’s Boson Team to search for knives and weapons that have been discarded or hidden by people intent on using them.
Speaking exclusively to the Bedford Independent this morning, Channitta said that she was worried the impact of Isaac’s death has been forgotten: “At the time it really hurt the community in a big way.
“But it’s now been forgotten and we’re still seeing those knife crimes and more families are going through what we’re going through.”
In today’s sweep officers looked at areas around Roff Avenue and also Commercial Road, looking in bushes, bins, behind walls, drains, telephone boxes and anywhere else a knife or weapon may be hidden.
And, as Sergeant Luke Blackburn explains, the areas picked aren’t just chosen at random: “The areas we come to are based on intelligence. We’ve recovered knives here before and so we continue to keep an eye on the area.”
Channitta’s efforts to raise awareness of the impact of knife crime also don’t end with her taking part with the sweep today.
She, along with three of Isaac’s friends, have also issued videos about the impact of Issac’s death as part of Bedfordshire Police’s Sceptre Stories initiative.
She has also set up Dynamic Decisions, a group to support young people who are involved in or at risk of knife crime and gang culture.
The videos see them speaking honestly about how they heard about Isaac’s murder and their message to anyone carrying a knife.
Click on the images to view each individual video.
“Although it has been five years since Isaac left us, his presence is still hugely missed in our family.” adds Channitta.
“It has been five hard years and no matter how much we as a family have tried to repair ourselves, it has been an impossible task. There is just a huge Isaac shaped void that cannot be fixed.
“His laugh, smile and personality fill our memories daily, but that is just it; we only have memories and quite frankly that is just not enough.
“No matter how much we try to accept Isaac’s death we can’t, it’s something you learn to live with because you have no choice, but it will never be accepted.
“What really saddens me is that more and more families are sharing our reality. It seems people have not learnt from Isaac’s death as we are repeatedly seeing our young people lose their lives to senseless knife crimes.
“The reality is there is nothing glamorous about serious life threatening injuries or worse, like being in a mortuary and 6ft in the ground, nor is it glamorous for the perpetrators who lose their lives to long prison sentences.
“If I could give one message to our young people it is please think about your actions, please leave the knife at home.
“When you carry a knife it puts you in more danger and as you can see no one wins in this situation.
“Please access support, it is out there for you—your lives are worth more than this, your lives are worth living!”
If you find a knife or suspect anyone you know may be carrying a knife, please contact Bedfordshire Police continues on 101 or report online at www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report.
You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.