Police commissioner’s praise for Newham anti-knife charity

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, centre, is pictured at the event with members of the police and NASSA teams

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, centre, is pictured at the event with members of the police and NASSA teams - Credit: Archant

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe took part in an annual basketball match to remember victims of knife crime.

He took part in the sixth anniversary Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) match between police officers and members of Newham All Star Sports Academy.

The annual event was held at Rokeby School in Canning Town and included a minute’s silence at the beginning to commemorate the lives of six people who have died as a result of knife crime in Newham over the last 12 months.

The police ran out narrow 62-55 winners in overtime against young people from four of NASSA’s age-group England Basketball National League sides.

Sir Bernard was full of praise for NASSA, which was named overall Charity of the Year in The Charity Awards 2014, and for the occasion which brought young people and the police together in friendly sporting rivalry.

He said: “It is the sixth anniversary of this game where the police have played local young people and, sadly, it is meant to commemorate deaths from knife crime over the past year, but it’s also a good message of hope. There are a lot of kids here – who are clearly good kids – who want to have a nice life in the future.

“Of course there is a lot of work done by NASSA during the year when we’re not here in trying to encourage them to do good things, keep away from gangs, keep away from knives. It looks to me like that is all paying off.

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“These young people are fantastic representatives of their community and their parents, or those who are looking after them.”

The CABNAB initiative was set up in 2008 by NASSA player Anthony Okereafor following the death of two of his friends in stabbing incidents. It is supported by the Metropolitan Police and each NASSA basketball session includes mentoring on the dangers of knife crime and gang culture by the organisation’s coaches.