A Swindon retail manager believes “knife crime in the town centre is at its highest" as a gathering was held on Saturday to remember a murdered teenager. 

Jenny Gaunt and other members of the charity, Owen’s World gathered in the Brunel Centre to raise awareness about the consequences of knife crime.

Owen’s World is a charity set up by the family of and those who knew Owen Dunn, a teenager murdered by a fatal knife wound in December 2020.

The charity has since set up 11 bleed kits which are designed for members of the public to use to help a person that may be a victim of a stabbing.

And one of these kits was on display at the Canal Walk entrance to the shopping centre on Saturday.

Ms Gaunt said: “Within the last five years, knife crime has got really bad.

“You never know who is carrying a knife and it is really scary.

“Hearing how scared everyone is, it’s not very nice.”
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The charity is now on a mission to ensure members of the public are aware of these kits after a stabbing along canal walk on New Years Eve.

The stabbing was less than 50 metres away from the bleed kit in the town centre but it was not used.

Owen Dunn’s mother, Zoe Mitchell hopes the bleed kits will be able to reduce the harm of a stabbing.

She said: “I don’t want it to happen to anyone else but I hope that they can get access to these cabinets and maybe, hopefully save a life.

“I just think it is getting out of hand.

“More and more young children are going out with knives, stabbing people and I think they need to be getting into the real world.

“Sometimes I think kids just carry knives to protect something they might have on them like a decent pair of trainers or a mobile phone. They’re just worried about being robbed.

“They don’t think about the consequences."

She also shared her plans to tackle knife crime by going into schools and educating young people about the dangers of carrying a knife to help deter those from injuring others or themselves.

The police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire, Phillip Wilkinson, said: “I am concerned about the harm that knives can cause to young people.

"I am incredibly impressed with the initiative of Owen Dunn’s family.

“This is a great way to reduce the harm of people who have already suffered an injury and buy time until the ambulance service arrives."

When talking about the issue of young people and knives, he added: “It is likely to cause as much harm to themselves if they use a knife.”