A weekly newspaper has given away more than 2,000 wristbands as part of a campaign which aims to stamp out knife crime across the area.
The Clacton Gazette and sister title the Harwich and Manningtree Standard launched the Lives Not Knives initiative after a spate of violent attacks across the area, including the death of 17-year-old Jay Whiston who was stabbed outside a house party last month.
The Gazette has now distributed more than 2,000 wristbands bearing the Lives Not Knives slogan, which are being worn by students at three secondary schools in the area.
Editor Andrew Bennett said, “The response from the readers has been fantastic. Hundreds of people collected wristbands before the paper was even published.
“We delivered 1,500 of the high visibility bands to secondary school pupils, including Tendring Technology College, where Jay was a student. We wanted to offer something worthwhile for free, a badge that kids would wear with pride.”
Jay’s mother, Caroline Shearer, has backed the campaign and said young people should be taught in school about the dangers of carrying weapons.