LFC Foundation, Everton in the Community, and Tranmere Rovers in the Community alongside Merseyside Police and The Combined Authority are standing together against knife crime.
In a joint statement from the three clubs said: “Following the senseless murder of Ava White in Liverpool last week, we are coming together against the carrying of knives and the devastating impact knife and violent crime have on our communities.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to Ava’s family, friends and all those who had the opportunity to know this kind and inspiring young person.
“Liverpool is a city built on compassion and solidarity, and we must take a unified stance - it is not acceptable, for any reason, to carry knives. This is a simple message, yet one that can save hundreds of lives every year.
“We call on our communities to help us reinforce this message and stop the catastrophic impact of knife and violent crime across families and our society.”
The LFC Foundation will continue to work with key partners across the city to deliver targeted sessions in the local community to reduce anti-social behaviour and tackle knife and violent crime. They currently deliver these programmes in over 20 schools and will also upweight this important messaging through their weekly timetable of community sessions across Liverpool City Region.
Everton in the Community delivers early intervention and rehabilitation support programmes across the Liverpool City Region to help prevent serious violence, tackle gang culture and protect young people from exploitation. The charity will continue working alongside the Home Office and Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner to empower young people and achieve positive social change in some of the region’s most challenging and hard-to-reach groups.
Tranmere Rovers in the Community run targeted engagement programmes which consist of constructive sports sessions supported with educational workshops on crime prevention topics including County Lines, knife crime and gang culture across the Wirral. TRIC and Tranmere Rovers are determined to and will fully support initiatives to deter anti-social behaviour and make a positive difference to the region.
Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Ngaire Waine said “We pledge to continue working with our partners to ensure we deter knife crime, educate young people, bring offenders to justice, and protect our communities. We are doing this is through our collaborative #BladeFree campaign, which is specifically designed to help young people steer clear of knife crime and serious violence by providing information on activities and initiatives in their area to help build confidence, aspiration and improve practical skills and employability. Operationally, we also conduct a number of open land searches, stop searches, targeted operations and high visibility patrols, as well as working closely with our communities, the Violence Reduction Partnership, schools and other safeguarding partners.
“Nothing will ever bring back 12-year-old Ava, but I hope with the support of our partners, our ongoing activity and future proactive policing and educational opportunities, we can bring some positive changes to people’s attitude around carrying a knife and ensure no other family have to suffer the way Ava’s have.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region added: “Last week, our entire region was united in shock, disbelief and anger at the senseless murder of 12-year-old Ava White in Liverpool City Centre. This vicious act goes against the values that we believe best personify our city region: kindness, compassion, and togetherness.
“Along with Merseyside Police, and our region’s football clubs we are united behind a simple message – there is no excuse for carrying a knife. Don’t do it. Too many lives are needlessly lost every year because of mindless violence. Please hold your friends, family and loved ones accountable and we can prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again.
“The Liverpool City Region stands together against knife crime.”
Many people are struggling to come to terms with recent events, and we encourage you to look out for each other during these difficult times. There are also services that can provide specialist support:
Samaritans: 116 123
Childline: 0800 1111
National Domestic Violence Hotline Freephone 24 hour run by Refuge: 0808 247 2000
CrimeStoppers: 0800 555 111
Young Minds Crisis Messenger - text for free, 24/7 support. Text YM to 85258 youngminds.org.uk YoungMinds
Alder Hey CAMHS Crisis Care Team – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, contact the team on 0151 293 3577.