11:30AM, Friday 09 October 2020
Murals depicting messages to stop people carrying knives have been created in Slough town centre.
A team of 26 volunteers from youth charity, Aik Saath, transformed the white hoardings surrounding the former Thames Valley University site into an array of graffiti artwork.
The group spent 10 hours working alongside artist Alexis Milne to create the unique spray-painted murals which feature slogans including #knifefreeSlough, #peace and #dropit.
Among the team was 24-year-old Aida, cousin of Ismail ‘Izzy’ Mohammed who died after being stabbed in the abdomen while in Salt Hill Park’s skate park in July 2017.
Three men were convicted of the murder of the amateur footballer and are serving life sentences.
Aida said taking part in the mural was particularly important to her and her family as they continue to live through the effects from knife crime.
The 18-year-old psychology student said: “Knife crime has had a massive impact on me and my family since 2017. I wanted to join in and do something positive.
“The message is just don’t go out with a knife. Not only is the family of the victim affected with the loss of life but the family of the perpetrator as well.
“Carrying a knife can take a life and for those who are caught and imprisoned their lives have been lost too.”
The work was completed as part of a partnership project between the council, Aik Saath and media company Resource Productions, and co-ordinated by Slough Violence Taskforce.
Slough Borough Council set up the taskforce in October last year to coordinate multi-agency partners within the borough, providing a focused, evidence -based response to serious violence, including knife crime.
Rob Deeks, chief executive officer of Aik Saath, said: “Aik Saath was founded on the idea young people are uniquely situated to reach each other with key messages.
“This campaign is entirely in keeping with this vision with young people leading it every step of the way and it is a privilege to support them to use their creativity to send such important messages to their peers about knife crime.”
The #knifefreeSlough social media campaign launched in August with the aim of challenging the perception of knife crime among youth people.
One campaign message is that 99 per cent of young people do not carry knives.
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