Mum of murdered teen Connor Brown backs knife amnesty

Northumbria Police
Following his death Tanya and Simon Brown have campaigned against knife and raises awareness of its consequences through The Connor Brown Trust - a charity set up in their son's name. Credit: Northumbria Police

The mother of a teenager murdered on Wearside is backing a national knife amnesty to reduce serious violence.

Tanya Brown's son Connor was stabbed to death in Sunderland in 2019.

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

Following his death Ms Brown has campaigned against knife and raising awareness of its consequences through The Connor Brown Trust - a charity set up in her son's name.

This week she is backing Northumbria Police as part of Operation Sceptre, which is a national campaign to reduce knife crime.

The knife amnesty urges people to give up their weapons anonymously and safely in drop-boxes at local police stations.

Connor Brown,18, died in 2019 following a fatal stabbing. Credit: Northumbria Police

Ms Brown said: “I’m a massive supporter of prevention as opposed to punishment because once the damage is done, you can’t undo the consequences or take it back.

“Knives are not trophies or something to be proud of, they are dangerous weapons and I want young people to realise carrying a knife makes you likely to use it – and that has consequences not just for you, but for your family."

She continued: “Young people often tell me they need their knives for their protection – but if you are carrying one, you’re the perpetrator.

“Lots of young people just don’t think about their futures but one snap decision now can ruin it all, and that’s a shame because there are so many opportunities out there.”

Through her work with the Connor Brown Trust, Ms Brown works in schools across the region by talking about her son and the tragedy surrounding his death.

She said: “I get asked a lot about revenge, but I’m not like that.

“My revenge is not forgetting Connor. I will never forgive them for what they did, but the law has dealt with them and they have to live with this just like me.

“I get to see the positive side of Connor and remember what a wonderful young man he was. Some parents won’t get that opportunity."

She added: “There may be those who don’t want to be seen as ‘snitch’ or a ‘grass,’ but when Connor was attacked there were so many witnesses and people who helped and spoke to police because they knew it was the right thing to do.

“The outpouring of grief after Connor’s death was massive and my way of paying back the community for their support is to make a difference to the lives of their children.

“Please report what you see, tell the police what you know and keep our communities safe before harm is caused.”

How can people hand in knives?

Surrender bins are now at the following stations: Southwick, Millbank, Gateshead, Forth Banks, Bedlington, Middle Engine Lane and Hexham.

They will remain in place until Sunday 21 May.

Details of when stations are open can be found by visiting Northumbria Police's website.

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