Mum of murdered Tomasz Oleszak writes 'powerful' letter to Gateshead schoolchildren

Tomasz Oleszak, whose mother has written a letter being given to schoolchildren in the area to warn about the dangers of knives. Credit: Family

The mother of a murdered teenager has written a "powerful letter" which has been handed out to hundreds of school pupils.

Kamila Wisniewska, the mother of Tomasz Oleszak, penned the letter to warn of the dangers of knife crime.

Tomasz died days before his 15th birthday after being stabbed in Gateshead in October 2021.

The 14-year-old was stabbed by Leighton Amies, who was found guilty of murder in April and will serve a minimum of 12 years in jail.

Carrying out work to reduce knife crime, officers from Northumbria Police carried out 146 stop and searches and 19 weapon sweeps, while 81 people were visited after attempting to buy and import offensive weapons into the country.

The operation, carried out between 13 and 19 November, saw 142 people arrested and 121 items recovered.

Red surrender bins were also in place at a number of police stations, with 90 unwanted sharp items disposed of.

Officers have been working across the Northumbria Police area to tackle knife crime. Credit: Northumbria Police

Almost 500 schoolchildren were spoken to as part of the operation.

Chief Superintendent Joanne Park-Simmons, Force lead for knife crime and serious youth violence, now runs Northumbria Police’s newly created Prevention Department.

She said: “Knife crime is an issue which touches everyone across the force area and requires a communal solution.

“As a police force, our role is to keep people safe, and to relentlessly pursue those individuals carrying and using weapons for their own gain – and putting others at risk.

“Operation Sceptre is a great way for us to show the public just how passionate and determined we are about tackling this type of criminality.

“This time around we have had incredible support, and I would like to thank Kamila Wisniewska, the mother of Tomasz Oleszak for her powerful contribution.

Some of the weapons seized during the operation. Credit: Northumbria Police

“As someone who is still grieving and trying to come to terms with the lasting damage knives can cause, I know it will not have been easy for her to write that letter – but her message is loud and clear – let’s all continue to take action and save lives.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “We all know that to truly fight knife crime it can’t be about law enforcement alone. We have to get ahead of the problem.

"Kids need to understand that carrying a knife is never the answer. Putting the heart-breaking letter written by Kamila, Tomasz’s mother, in front of school kids across the region couldn’t make that message any clearer."

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