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Are you carrying a knife? #lifeorknife

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Are you carrying a knife? #lifeorknife

The grief-stricken family of a 16 year old victim of a fatal knife stabbing in Wolverhampton has joined forces with West Midlands Police to launch an anti-knife initiative. The #lifeorknife video campaign is warning young people about the unseen impact carrying a knife can have on everyone involved - not just the victim, but the perpetrators, and all the families as well.

Aimed at 13 to 18 year olds, the campaign consists of a series of video interviews featuring Nikita Kanda, sister of the victim Ronan Kanda. Nikita is keen to raise awareness of the wider devastation of knife crime, and is encouraging people to speak out if they suspect any of their friends of carrying a knife. The videos will run on social media platforms TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

On 29th June 2022 16 year old Ronan Kanda was just a few steps from his own front door when he was stabbed in the back with a 20 inch ninja sword by another 16 year old who had mistaken Ronan for someone else. This case of mistaken identity further fuels the absolute futility of the killing.

Ronan was the victim, yet beyond this tragedy the lives of his family, and the perpetrators have also changed beyond repair. The two people arrested were each found guilty of murder and sentenced to life.

Ronan's sister Nikita, who collaborated with West Midlands Police in the making of the video, emphasises the utter pointlessness of the incident. She says: "If you asked those two boys what they gained from it, they'd say they gained nothing. And they ruined their lives. And they ruined their families' lives. And they've absolutely destroyed our lives."

"Knife crime has unseen consequences on every single person involved. The distress caused to Nikita's family after the murder of her brother will be felt for generations to come, and it is this far-reaching impact that we really want to emphasise to teenagers across the West Midlands region," commented Chief Inspector John Askew, who leads Project Guardian - the West Midlands Police operation to reduce knife crime. "There is no bravado in carrying a blade when you are on the inside of a prison cell. The futility of irreversibly ruining lives for ever within a split second is not uppermost in the minds of most teenagers - but it should be."

The social media campaign will run for a couple of weeks in November to coincide with Operation Sceptre (#opsceptre), a nationwide week of action aimed at taking criminals and weapons off the streets of the UK, while educating young people about the dangers of carrying blades.

 Speaking out against knife crime and reaching out for support can help keep you and your mates safe. Want to report anonymously? Call 0800 555111 to let West Midlands Police know someone is carrying a knife.


For further press information please contact:

Kate Ashley-Norman


T: 01733 890836