Pride of Britain award winner, Omar Sharif, outside The Bay CE School in Sandown.

More than 1,200 Isle of Wight school children have been learning about the consequences of knife crime, as part of a national campaign taking place throughout the week.

Teenagers from schools across the Island, including Ryde Academy, Cowes Enterprise College and The Bay Church of England School in Sandown, were paid a visit from the Island’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams – as part of Operation Sceptre.

The initiative, set-up to make teenagers aware of knife crime, also saw Pride of Britain Winner Omar Sharif share his experiences.

The 27-year-old grew up in central London and by the age of 14, was involved in gang activity, where three of his friends died as a consequence of knife crime.

With help from The Prince’s Trust, Omar moved to Coventry and found a job. He now runs his own personal training business ‘Omar Inspires’.

Omar said:

“It’s important for teenagers to understand the consequences of carrying a knife and that there is an alternative, even if they are feeling pressured by their peer group.

“I fully support the national campaign, where the focus is on those vulnerable people living within our communities who could be targeted by others connected with drug and knife-related crime. It can have a devastating impact.”

If you notice unusual activity in your street, or you are concerned about someone carrying a knife, you can let the Police know, either by calling 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For more information on the national campaign visit here. 

By Louise Hill