Medics from London Ambulance Service who educate school children on the realities of knife crime to deter them from carrying weapons have been commended by the police.
Paramedic Sukhjit Kadri and emergency medical technician Keith Plummer give youngsters in schools across east London honest and hard-hitting facts about what knife injuries look like and the life-changing impact they can have.
They also play a recording of a harrowing 999 call that was made after a fatal stabbing of a teenager.
The medics are part of a team who have worked alongside officers from the Metropolitan Police to educate hundreds of teenagers across Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge schools to stem the tide of gang violence in London.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman presented Sukhjit and Keith with a Commander’s Commendation at a small ceremony in Romford to recognise their commitment and collaborative work on tackling knife crime.
Sukhjit, who led the project for London Ambulance Service, said: “I’m so passionate about this work and it is so rewarding being able to give back to the community that I grew up in. I have been able to work in my old secondary school and sixth form.’
“It is a real honour to be recognised, but the real reward has been the feedback from pupils who have talked about the impact we have had.’
“We tell them about treating patients their age; our talks are emotional and relatable and we know it makes a difference.”
The presentations are aimed at Year 9 pupils in an area which has a high rate of knife crime.
Keith said: “It is really nice and unexpected to get an award for a job I love doing. When you talk to the kids, you can see they are gripped.’
“We have knowledge and experience of the consequences of knife crime; of seeing people hurt and seeing their families.’
So we are passionate and enthusiastic about educating kids and we can say to them: this is what we do, this is what we see, this is real.”
Sukhjit and Keith deliver their workshops alongside police colleagues PC Halleron and PC Harris; and Nathan Levy, who runs the Robert Levy Foundation, a charity set up after his brother was murdered. All five were commended.
Det Chief Supt Clayman said: “The workshops have so much impact — they have resulted in students coming forward and giving information about other pupils carrying weapons.’
“This collaborative project is delivered alongside their other work commitments and they are passionate about their goal as ultimately they are trying to make youths in London safer.”