Newham charity celebrates knife crime statistics

Carry A Basketball Not A Blade initiative launched by Newham All Star Sports Academy

Carry A Basketball Not A Blade initiative launched by Newham All Star Sports Academy - Credit: Archant

A leading charity is celebrating a major victory after statistics revealed that not a single young person lost their life as a result of knife crime in Newham over the last year.

The Carry a Basketball not a Blade initiative was launched by Anthony Okereafor and the Newham Star Sports Academy after two of his friends died as a result of knife crime in 2008.

The charity, which aims to tackle knife crimes among youngsters by diverting their attention to sport, has revealed that no young person up until the age of 25, died due to knife crime between September 2014 and August 2015.

He said: “It is wonderful news that no young person has lost his or her life in Newham through knife crime in the past year and that no family has had to endure the heartache that follows such a tragic event.

“But we have to keep working and educating young people so that no young person dies as a result of knife crime in the next 12 months, and each year that follows.”

Chief Executive, Natasha Hart, said: “We received these statistics from the Met in Newham, We were so happy to see such results. It shows that youngsters in the borough are really diverting their attention away from the sort of crime.

“The reduction in such crime amongst our youth between the time the charity was launched and now has been great.”

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Natasha, who was awarded an MBE this year, said: “It is such a great achievement for Newham.

“When we first started out there were so many youngsters who would carry knives but this has significantly reduced in time.

“We have helped thousands of youngsters stay off the streets through our projects and we will continue doing this.”

The charity marked their latest figures during their seventh anniversary celebrations last month.

During the event, members of Newham Sports Star Academy played a game of basketball against officers from Newham Police.

For more information on the charity or the initiative visit