Mother of Sunderland stabbing victim Connor Brown, 18, backs knife amnesty

Tanya Brown said the pain of Connor's death has never eased. Credit: Family photo

The mother of a murdered Sunderland teenager has pleaded with people to stop carrying knives.

Connor Brown was stabbed five times outside a pub on 24 February 2019. He died in hospital an hour later.

The 18-year-old was trying to break-up an alleyway fight when he was attacked, receiving a fatal blow to the chest.

One man was subsequently handed a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering the teenager, while a second was convicted of manslaughter and also jailed.

Both admitted possession of a knife in a public place.

Connor worked as a GP receptionist and was a keen sportsman. Credit: Family photo

Connor's mother Tanya Brown is continuing her campaign against knife crime ahead of a national week of action known as Operation Sceptre, with people being encouraged to surrender their weapons as part of a knife amnesty.

Following Connor’s death, Mrs Brown and Connor's father Simon, along with other family members, set up the Connor Brown Trust.

The charity aims to support young people and their families and work with them to help steer young people away from crime, violence and engaging in criminal activities.

Mrs Brown said: "The impact Connor’s death has had on us as a family has been truly devastating on a daily basis.

"It never leaves you, it never gets any easier, and the pain is real, please stop and think."

  • Connor's parents spoke with ITV News Tyne Tees a year after their son's death.

As part of the awareness week, which runs 14-20 November, officers will be working with partners to carry out a range of activity from knife searches targeting suspects to holding workshops in schools and universities.

Amnesty bins have been placed at seven stations across the force, with members of the public encouraged to hand over any unwanted knives or sharp objects which they fear could fall into the wrong hands.

Chief Superintendent Helena Barron, serious violence and knife crime lead for Northumbria Police, has welcomed the week of action.

She said: "Our message to anyone who carries a knife if a simple one: You risk destroying more than one life.

"The impact of carrying a knife can be devastating, with lives lost, loved ones left heartbroken and futures ruined.

"There can never be an acceptable reason to carry a knife or any kind of weapon and we would urge those who believe otherwise to think again."

She added: "Tackling knife crime is a priority for us and this dedicated operation is very much an extension of the work we are carrying out every single day to reduce the impact of this type of offending.

"From taking positive action against anyone found in possession of knife, to educating young people about the dangers of carrying weapons – we are committed to working with our partners to make sure our communities continue to be as safe as they can be."

Chief Superintendent Helena Barron with an amnesty bin. Credit: Northumbria Police

This week also sees the return of knife surrender bins to some of our stations and people are encouraged to drop off any unwanted knives or weapons.

These could be old kitchen knives, antiques found in an attic, machetes, as well as other weapons such as ornamental swords.

This is a way to dispose of items safely, eliminating the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: "Recently, up and down the country, we have seen a number of high-profile cases involving the irresponsible use of knives and the horrific consequences.

"Across the region we are working relentlessly to tackle the root causes and clampdown on all serious violence.

"My Violence Reduction Unit and incredible organisations like Tanya’s are working hard to educate our young people and drive the changes needed to support our police and ultimately keep our communities safe.

"Northumbria Police is known for its successful Op Sceptre activity, and I hope this will be another week where see more knives off the streets and more arrests made."

Surrender bins are now in place at the following stations until November 20:

-Forth Banks

-Middle Engine Lane






Opening hours are available on Northumbria Police's website.

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