Wellingborough 'NN8' community leader to set tasks for MP and council leader in battle against knife crime
Off the Streets - NN8 community against knife crime group wants to tackle the causes of knife crime
The founder of a Wellingborough community group that marched against knife crime at the weekend will have a face-to-face meeting with the town's MP and the leader of the local authority.
After rallying more than 500 people on a walk through Wellingborough's different estates, Ravaun Jones will continue to demand action from MP Peter Bone and Jason Smithers, leader of North Northants Council (NNC).
Father-of-three Ravaun Jones has already helped to galvanise nearly 3,600 members in the 'Off the Streets - NN8 community against knife crime' group launched in response to the death of Dylan Holliday tragically killed in a park on the Queensway estate.
After hosting a public meeting to highlight community issues he has vowed to keep pushing for changes to be made in Wellingborough in a stand against knife crime and in his desire to see action in the needy areas.
Mr Jones, 29, said: "The march went better than I even expected. Going down into the estates I didn't know if we were going to get a reaction - some people don't like the police but it's working out really well. It was amazing, everyone came out of their houses. There were elderly people with 'grannies against knife crime' signs.
"I think it's going to change the town but not overnight - that change can't be done with a snap of a finger.
"I'm going to hold the authorities to their promises and I have a meeting with MP Peter Bone and Jason Smithers on Friday. I'm going to give them a list of the small things that they can act on now and set them the other tasks."
Through the Off the Streets - NN8 community against knife crime group, the members have promised to 'eradicate knife crime in communities, through the encouragement and utilisation of community initiatives and services'.
The group want to offer opportunities to classes, events, clubs and interests to the people living on Wellingborough's estates with the three main objectives to educate parents, children and young people around knife crime, inspire children to break the cycle of crime and to engage with families offering clubs and services to the community.
At Mr Jones' meeting he will ask for more police officers to patrol the streets, for areas in the estates to be cleared up regularly to remove rubbish and discarded weapons, for all pubs and clubs to have hand-held weapon detectors to check for knives and for door staff to have first aid training.
Since he set up the group, Mr Jones has had 20 knives handed in to him and he is working with Sgt Chris Stevens from Northants Police.
Mr Jones said: "He's full on. I like the relationship we have built - I can trust him. We've had quite a few knives handed in to me from kitchen knives to street knives. I hand them to the police. They come to my door very quickly. They have been so helpful - they have never been like that before. There are actually good officers out there."
As well as meeting the people in power, Off the Streets - NN8 is hosting a family fun day for the community on Saturday, August 28, from 12 noon to 8pm with food, music stalls and a police versus residents football match on the cards.
Mr Jones added: "I'm only speaking on behalf of the community. We aspire to build a safer future for our children and young adults, not only today’s but for the generations to come."