Combat knives evil, says head's widow

Combat knives, easily bought over the counter in specialist shops throughout Britain, were yesterday branded symbols of evil by Frances Lawrence, whose calls for a good citizenship crusade attracted cross- party backing.

Mrs Lawrence, the widow of murdered headmaster Philip Lawrence, widened her appeal by demanding a ban on military-style knives.

In an interview on BBC Television's Here and Now programme last night, Mrs Lawrence refused to accept that nothing could be done to outlaw the weapons. "Sometimes it seems too difficult to get anything done, but its nonsense to say that nothing can be changed.'

With the Government facing continuing public pressure to ban handguns completely, rather than the partial ban announced last week after the publication of Lord Cullen's Dunblane report, Mrs Lawrence's statement is likely to renew calls for a knife ban to be included in future legislation.

Last December, her husband was stabbed to death outside his school in Maida Vale, London as he went to the assistance of one of his pupils. She said the emotional trauma she and her family suffered still continued.

Calling for a ban on all combat knives, she said : "Knife shops seem to me to symbolise evil - the evil that is on the streets. They are brutal. They are violent in themselves." She insisted that if there was a demand for a ban, and a strong public desire, it could be achieved. "It's nonsense to say it will take 20 years to close down [a knife shop]. That shop can be closed down within weeks." Talking about coming to terms with her husband's death, she said it was the manner of his death, the violence, that was very difficult to come to terms with. "I don't think I'll ever come to terms with that and I think that we have to sort out this growth of violence and it has to be stopped."

Knives, she said, were a physical symbol of evil. And on shops that openly displayed knives for sale, she added "You see violence in a window, you see it on display. It is quite unbelievable that these shops exist and that is one of my primary concerns."

She claimed there was a link between images of violence and actual incidents of violence, although such a relationship has never been academically proved.

"We know whatever the statistics tell us that there is a link between the violence that is bombarded at our children and the violence that some of them go out and inflict."

Last week, Learco Chindamo, 16, was convicted of the murder of Mr Lawrence and ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence