Amnesty to stop knife crimes

Jacob Woudstra
Jacob Woudstra

THE father of a teenager who was knifed to death has given his support to a police campaign to stamp out knife crime.

Hastings police launched Get a Life, Bin that Knife in a bid to educate young people on the dangers of carrying knives.

It has received the backing of Stephen Woudstra, father of 17-year-old Jacob, who was murdered last year.

Young people will be given the opportunity to dispose of any knives in bins during a month-long amnesty, which started on Monday (September 30).

Mr Woudstra said: “I think this is a good idea that the police have come up with. If it saves one person’s live then it’s worthwhile.”

Adam Skilton, 42, of Wilton Road, Bexhill, was found guilty of Jacob’s murder and perverting the course of justice, at the end of a two-week trial in October last year. He will serve at least 26 years in prison for murdering the student.

Skilton knifed Jacob on April 5 last year at The Shah pub yards from his home in Mount Pleasant Road following a long-running dispute over drugs with his older brother Levi.

Sergeant Che Donald said: “Although knife crime is not generally a problem in the community of Hastings, we did have the high-profile case where Jacob was stabbed to death. It is imperative that we educate young people of the possible consequences of carrying a bladed item. Not only is it illegal, the repercussions can have devastating effects. This amnesty will give members of the public the opportunity to dispose of any knives without prosecution. Our schools’ officers will also be talking to pupils about the dangers of carrying knives at primary and secondary schools in Hastings and St Leonards.

“We are also running a competition asking students to design a poster raising awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife. These will be judged with prizes for the best ones.”

The amnesty bin is at Hastings Police Station front office for a month and is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 8pm.