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Grieving parents unite to stop more killings

PUBLISHED: 18:23 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:23 25 August 2010

BEREAVED parents of children killed on the capital s streets have called for society to take a stand against knife crime.

BEREAVED parents of children killed on the capital's streets have called for society to take a stand against knife crime.

Barry Mizen and Sally and Colin Knox, parents of killed teenagers Jimmy Mizen and Rob Knox, marched across London to protest against street violence on Saturday .

Making their way from Kennington to Hyde Park, they were joined by other parents including Richard Taylor, father of 10-year-old Damilola who was killed in Peckham in 2000.

Mr Mizen, owner of the shoe mender's in High Street, Sidcup, said whilst the turn out was a little disappointing, the spirit shown was very positive.

The 56-year-old said: "Some people look at it and ask 'what can it achieve?' Well, we just want to raise awareness of these crimes in any way.

"A lot of people still feel these deaths do not concern them, but our message is that they do.I don't want to live in a society where this level of violence is acceptable."

St Thomas More pupil Jimmy Mizen was killed the day after his 16th birthday in Burnt Ash Hill, Lee, as he went out to buy his first lottery ticket.

The tragic loss prompted the Prime Minister to send a personal letter of condolence to the Mizen family.

Last Thursday, Mr Mizen and wife Margaret visited Gordon Brown with other parents.

Mr Mizen added: "It has reassured us that politicians are very much with this. But there are things the police and courts cannot do. I think people are going to have to change the way they view their lives and values. I think this feeling is gathering momentum."

Sally Knox, whose 18-year-old son was killed in May outside Metro, in Station Road, Sidcup, also attended the march with Colin Knox.

Mrs Knox, of Maidstone Road, Sidcup, said: "Every time I see another stabbing on the news I feel sick to my stomach.But this march means that my son and others like him did not die in vain."

The parents' protest was mirrored by youths in Bexley who held a Walk of Peace with police on the same day.

Children from groups including the Scouts marched from Sidcup, Crayford, Welling and Belvedere to Bexleyheath to encourage closer ties and communication between communities.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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