Ex-gang member fights stigma and installs first bleed kit in Hastings to fight against knife crime

  • Watch: ITV News Meridian's Megan Samrai went down to see the bleed control kit installed in Hastings

A youth worker who was once involved in gangs is now working to save lives by installing bleed control kits in East Sussex.

Carl Scott put up one of the first bleed control kits in the county this week in Hastings at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.

The special kits contain bandages and tourniquets which the public can use to control catastrophic bleeding until an ambulance arrives.

But installing one in Carl's local area has not been easy - with him saying it has taken months to get the kits up.

He claims one reason is that they scare people who think there isn’t a knife crime issue in their area.

Carl Scott has been working for months to install a bleed kit in East Sussex. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Mr Scott said: "It has been very difficult. I’ve been hitting a lot of brick walls to get this kit up.

"I think the stigma around the boxes is for the public or the community to accept that we could possibly have a knife crime issue in our community.

"But how I look at it is the fact that stigma isn’t something that saves people’s lives. These kits are the ones that save people’s lives.”

To use the kit in an emergency, people should call 999 and a call operator will give you the code to open up the kit. They will then talk you through how to use its contents.

Also watching the installation was Kyle Miller, whose friend Connor Ansell died after being stabbed in St Leonards in 2017, when he was just 16.

Kyle Miller and Connor Ansell were best friends. Credit: Kyle Miller

He said: "The impact of knife crime, it's rising as well. You hear about it every day now.

"It's becoming a trend at the minute, everyone seems to be doing it. Six years ago this year, I lost my best friend to knife crime.

"These things weren't around when it happened so being a part of something that can potentially save another person's life is motivating for me."

So how worried should people in Sussex be about knife crime?

The police say it’s a safe place to live but they have seen a rise in incidents. 

DCI Simon Yates, Force Lead for serious violence and knife crime, said: "We’ve seen around a 2% increase year on year in knife crime. We’re below pre-pandemic figures.

"In our hot spots, where we’ve really focused our interventions, we’ve seen a 42% decrease in violence against a person, so it’s now taking that learning and putting that wider within the force so we can actually slow down the minor rise that we’ve had."

Carol Scott wants to see more of these bleed control kits in Sussex. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Mr Scott says this life-saving piece of equipment cost around £550 and the money to fund the kit in Hastings was donated by clothing company Amor Vita.

After turning his life around, he wants to continue helping others by securing more donations for bleed kits.

He says one will be put up in Bexhill in a few weeks - and hopes to branch out to Eastbourne, Lewes, Worthing and beyond.

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