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Stabbed pupil’s father honoured for anti-knife crime work

Mark Prince's OBE in 2019 New Year's Honours List follows work to encourage anti-gang culture in schools

mark prince

Mark Prince's OBE in 2019 New Year's Honours List follows work to encourage anti-gang culture in schools

A campaigning father whose teenage son was stabbed to death outside his school has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for his work tackling gang crime in London.

Mark Prince, whose son Kiyan was killed after trying to break up a fight, said the "tears started running" after learning he was being appointed an OBE.

The former champion boxer has worked to create an anti-knife and anti-gang culture in London's schools through the Kiyan Prince Foundation and giving talks to pupils.

Mr Prince said: "This is what I can give back on behalf of my son that is in a cemetery.

"I've been committed to impacting young people's lives and showing them a better way.

"Young people that are homeless like I was at 15 [who are] into that criminal mindset like I was in my teens, and who want to turn their life around, and I done that to become number one in Britain as a boxer.

"Now to get an OBE shows them people like us, from our community, can do great things and be recognised for the great things we're trying to do for others.

"Because it's about using this, not going around going, 'oh I've got an OBE', because that doesn't really do anything for when I go to the cemetery to visit my son.

"But what it does do, it enables me to move the vision forward and give other people hope."

Talented footballer Kiyan, who played for Queens Park Rangers under-16s, was attacked after trying to stop a fight outside the gates of the London Academy in Edgware, north London, in 2006.

The tally of violent deaths in the capital so far this year stands at 127, the largest number in a calendar year since 2009, when there were 131.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has now warned solving violent crime could take a generation.

One of Mr Prince's former mentees, Stephen Addison, was honoured with a British Empire Medal for services to young people in Barking and Dagenham.

He founded the organisation BoxUp Crime in 2013 after a close friend was killed in a gang feud, and remembered Mr Prince being instrumental in his "journey of transformation", by putting him through the "most gruelling boxing sessions".

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