More than 200 students at Hertswood Academy were given an insight into the dangers and consequences of knife crime last week.

The event for Year nine pupils was hosted by the Borehamwood and Elstree Safer Neighbourhood Team with Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, St Giles Trust and The Josh Hanson Trust. The day received funding from Hertsmere Borough Council.

PCSO Callum Ellis said: “Although we don’t have a problem with knife crime in Borehamwood, we felt it was important to arm our young people with the real consequences about knife crime.

“The pupils were spoken to by Tracey Hanson whose son, Josh, died in a stabbing in Eastcote, three years ago. She shared her heart felt story and there was not a dry eye in the room. They were then joined by Patrick Boyce who told his story. His son was stabbed and survived, but now needs 24/7 care, he cannot speak or move and now lives in a hospice. I think these real stories had a big impact on the young people and we hope it may, quite literally, save a life.”

The students were given a lesson in emergency first aid from Borehamwood fire officers. The St Giles Trust, a charity helping people facing severe disadvantage to find jobs, homes and the right support they need, ended the day talking about county drug lines, gangs and grooming.

Loran Kingston, Community Safety Intervention Officer for Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “We are working with our police colleagues and others in the Community Safety Partnership to try to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and getting involved in county lines and gangs across the borough.

“We want our young people to be able to make informed decisions about what they are getting involve in which can have devastating consequences. The young people were encouraged to talk to their friends, parents, teachers or even the police about their concerns and they were reminded that it is never ok to carry a knife.

“Anyone can report their concerns anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at”