On 18 May 2006, 15-year-old Kiyan Prince was fatally stabbed outside the gates of his school in Edgware as he tried to help a friend who was being bullied.
Ten years later, Kiyan’s father, Mark Prince, is encouraging schools to make use of all the tools at their disposal to take action against knife crime, including a series of youth development programmes that are accessible through an online support service called Edukit.
“A decade on from my son's tragic passing, knife and violent crime remains at alarmingly high levels,” Mr Prince said. “I am very disturbed that the government isn’t taking this issue more seriously. I wonder what would happen if it was politicians' children who were dying? We want to be part of an initiative that will help by giving young people invaluable support they can easily access.”
Following Kiyan’s death, Mr Prince, who is a professional boxer, founded the Kiyan Prince Foundation to help educate young people about the consequences of knife crime in the hope of saving lives.
'Feelings of self-worth'
Today, Mr Prince is still running workshops in schools and working with young people to instil a sense of self-worth and belonging outside of gang culture and negative behaviour.
The links between gang culture and knife crime are highlighted in a recent report by Catch22, an organisation that works with troubled and vulnerable young people. Speaking to TES in the 6 May edition, Dr Keir Irwin-Rogers, the author of the report, said there was nothing inevitable about gang culture entering a school.
“Teachers can’t solve the problem of gangs in the community, but what they can do is take steps to keep the culture out of their classroom,” he said.
One of his recommendations for schools is to pilot early intervention programmes centred around building character and resilience.