Mum of stabbed Harold Hill teen Champion Ganda makes call for knife bins in Havering
PUBLISHED: 16:28 11 December 2014 | UPDATED: 17:18 11 December 2014
A Harold Hill mother still waiting for justice for her murdered son has launched a campaign to save lives by putting knife bins on Havering’s streets.
Champion Ganda, 17, was stabbed to death in broad daylight in May last year. No one has been charged. Now his grieving mum Peguy Kato wants to see more done in the borough to prevent others suffering the same fate.
Anti-knife campaigner Michael Smith, of Word 4 Weapons, and Havering assembly member Roger Evans, who sits on the London Assembly’s police and crime committee, have thrown their weight behind the campaign.
Neighbouring boroughs Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham already have several knife bins, which allow people to dispose of knives without the threat of police questions.
Knife crime in Havering is comparatively low, but according to campaigners that’s no excuse for inaction.
Peguy said: “Crime is happening every single week – there are still kids in need, and we need to something to make people more aware.”
“Knife crime is a big problem everywhere – it’s not just Havering, it’s everywhere, but we’re starting here because we live in Havering.”
Her now-eldest son, Champion’s younger brother Bernoulli, has just turned 16, and Peguy is becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare on the street.
“The more he grows up, the more scared I get,” she said.
“We need knife bins to raise more awareness. Enough is enough.
“We have to stand up now. Police have to do more than they’re doing. Kids are being knifed all the time.”
In a reference to her late son, whose killers have never been found in part because of witness silence, she added: “They don’t even care if there are witnesses because no one’s going to talk.”
Backing the campaign, Mr Smith said: “Everywhere needs knife bins.
“It means people can dispose of knives without going to a police station, and maybe getting themselves in trouble.
“It means less knives on the streets.”
Mr Evans, assembly member for Havering and Redbridge, supported the call while stressing it wasn’t a cure-all.
“I think it’s a good idea to take knives off the street. It’s helpful and its something I’d like to see.
“But of course it does not solve the whole problem and of course the knives handed in are not always going to be the ones used by criminals.
“But fewer knives on the street is a good thing.”
Last week, Pedrito Domingos, 20, of Cow Bridge Lane, Barking, was jailed for 10 years for his frenzied knife attack on a man in the Nando’s at the Brewery Shopping Centre, Romford.
If you have information about Champion’s death, which happened in Sandringham Road, Forest Gate, at about 2pm on May 9, 2013, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.