A conference created to educate some of the city’s secondary school pupils on the dangers and impact of knife crime will be held this week.
The event, which will be held at the Ricoh Arena this Thursday (6 September), will host a number of speakers and workshop leaders, including representatives from the police, a former offender and the mother of a victim of knife crime.
Darryl Laycock, whose motto is ‘It’s Never Too Late’, will be sharing a presentation on gang culture and youth offending. Darryl is a reformed offender who has survived both being shot and stabbed multiple times – he is now dedicated to educating young people about the impact of gang and knife crime.
He said: “Every knife has the potential to kill a thousands of people, and every life that’s lost impacts on even more than that. I want young people to know that your mates you’re carrying a weapon for through loyalty ain't going to be loyal to you when you’re serving a life sentence for murder.
“It’s your family that will be traveling U.K. wide visiting you in prison. If you’re killed it's your family that has to grieve your loss forever. If you get in any trouble it's never too late to redeem yourself I am living proof of this. Think of your family before making any rash decisions that could cost you your life.”
Pupils will take part in a series of workshops to explore the impact of knife crime and challenge their perspectives.
Cllr Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Knife crime is a tragic and violent offence with wide-ranging repercussions, and we believe it is vital that we educate our young people on what carrying a weapon could ultimately lead to before they might make that decision.
“The conference has a range of speakers from all sides of the story – from police to parents and even a former offender. I hope that the messages shared will impact all of the attendees and potentially even change the future for some of our young people.”