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Alex Beresford talks knife crime with woman convicted of stabbing

It was some weeks ago I put out an appeal to hear from those directly affected by knife crime. I was overwhelmed with the response and how ready people were to talk out against knife crime, including those convicted of stabbing.

When Tara Ivers contacted me I was immediately drawn to her because of how raw she presented the problem to me over the phone. Tara who now prefers to be known as Tae, served seven years in prison for a knife attack in the St. Paul's area of Bristol back in 2005.

Alex Beresford spoke to Tara Ivers, who was convicted and jailed for stabbing another woman, and is now using her experiences to help others.

When we sat down to talk, she told me her back story is like many others who have ended up on the wrong side of the law, growing up in a poverty stricken environment where for some the pull of crime can be greater than living an honest life.

When Tara told me she was just 12-years-old when she started robbing and dealing drugs, I had to take a moment to let that sink in. She was just a child doing what many of her friends were doing and unaware of the route she was taking and where it would ultimately lead to.

As someone who has been caught up in the system and remains on a life license I wanted to find out why and how we can stop young people picking up knives in the first place.

Like many people I've spoken to on this issue, Tara believes early intervention would stop knives finding their way into the pockets of school trousers.

She also wanted to encourage parents to look out for each others children in a bid to make neighbourhoods safer places to live.

Speaking on the attack Tara was involved with it was clear she regretted what happened and said several times during her interview how relieved she was that everyone survived.

I'm glad she never died and when I look back at myself and what I did and what I could have caused someone, murder is the ultimate, you can't go any step further than that and to take someone's child's life and knowing that that person also has kids themselves, that's also someone's mother as well as somebody's child, it's not who I want to be or want anything to do with - but it's already been done now.

– Tara Ivers

Although there have been challenges that come with a criminal conviction, Tara has managed to rebuild her life since leaving prison and wants people to learn from her experience.