A mum whose teenage son was stabbed to death in a knife attack has urged youngsters to surrender their knives as part of a week of action on knife crime.

Tanya Brown, whose beloved son Connor was brutally stabbed on a night out in 2019, has called for young people to “stop and think” in a bid to educate them on the dangers of carrying a knife.

The impassioned plea comes as police forces across the North East are uniting as art of a national campaign called Operation Sceptre to tackle knife crime and get blades off the streets.

Read more: Drive to get knives off North East streets amid knife crime crisis

Tanya, 42, from Thorney Close, told The Northern Echo: “The message is always the same – just stop and think.

“Think before you buy that knife, carry that knife, because you don’t have time in the moment.

“They don’t just hurt the victims, they hurt everybody around you.

The Northern Echo: Connor BrownConnor Brown (Image: Contributor)

“It’s a simple message but these people know it’s illegal and they know the damage it can do so we can’t get the message out any clearer.”

This week people will be able to surrender their illegal blades without risk of prosecution at police drop-off points across the region.

Connor Brown was brutally killed when he received five stab wounds during an altercation over a £5 note in Sunderland on February 24, 2019.

Tanya, who set up the Connor Brown Trust in her son’s memory, added: “If you have knives, please use this opportunity to get rid of them without any questions asked and do the right thing.

“It doesn’t matter how you have come across owning a knife, whether you carry one, have one but want rid of it or have been asked by someone to hold onto one.

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“If even one more knife is off the streets that’s a good thing but it’s still terrifying to know it had been out there anyway.”

Last month The Northern Echo joined with Tanya and Zoey McGill, mum of murdered Aycliffe teen Jack Woodley, as part of a joint campaign to call for action to address the root causes and cultural factors behind kids carrying knives to stop more families being torn apart by fatal stabbings in the region.

The Northern Echo: Tanya Brown and Zoey McGill with their joint letter to the Prime Minister last month.Tanya Brown and Zoey McGill with their joint letter to the Prime Minister last month. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Local lead for Operation Sceptre in County Durham and Darlington, Inspector Michael Sammut, said: “Knife crime can devastate the lives of victims and their families.

“Although County Durham and Darlington has one of the lowest levels of knife crime in the country, we remain committed to protecting our communities by doing everything we can to remove as many unused weapons as possible.

The Northern Echo: The fearsome knife that was used in Jack's murder.The fearsome knife that was used in Jack's murder. (Image: Contributor)

"We know that some people who possess these weapons no longer wish to but are scared to hand them in for fear or prosecution, so this is a way we can help them dispose of the items safely without the fear of repercussions and, in turn, keeps the public safe.

“Our aim is to prevent, protect, educate and enforce where necessary to ensure the weapons don’t get into the wrong hands.”

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