Deadly swords are too easy to buy, anti-knife campaigners warn after death of Daniel Anjorin

Patrick Green, chief executive of knife crime charity the Ben Kinsella Trust, says is ‘horrified’ by the death of Daniel Anjorin

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 01 May 2024 22:23 BST
Related video: Knife crime charity boss gives chilling warning after London sword attack

Deadly swords that can “take lives” and “intimidate” are too easy to buy, campaigners are warning following the killing of a 14-year-old schoolboy in east London.

Patrick Green, chief executive of knife crime charity the Ben Kinsella Trust, said he was “horrified” by the death of Daniel Anjorin, who died in a sword attack near his home in Hainault on Tuesday.

“There are plenty of other agricultural tools available that can do a similar job to something like a machete,” he told The Independent.

“But certainly swords, other than for ceremonial reasons, don’t seem to serve any purpose to the wider public other than to take lives and intimidate.”

His comments came as police named Daniel as the 14-year-old who was attacked during the incident that also saw four others injured.

Daniel Anjorin was killed by a man who went on a rampage wielding a sword (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Daniel Anjorin was killed by a man who went on a rampage wielding a sword (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Wire)

The boy attended the same private school as Nottingham stabbing victim Grace O’Malley-Kumar, a medical student who was stabbed to death trying to save her friend after a knifeman went on a rampage in the city.

Bancroft’s School in Woodford Green, which said it was devastated by his killing, paid tribute to him as “a true scholar, demonstrating commendable dedication to his academic pursuits,” adding: “His positive nature and gentle character will leave a lasting impact on us.”

The school’s flag was today flying at half-mast.

On Wednesday night, Metropolitan Police charged Marcus Aurelio Arduini Monzo, of Newham, with the murder of Daniel.

The 36-year-old was also charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of grievous bodily harm, aggravated burglary and possession of a bladed article. He will appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

In January, the government introduced plans to ban zombie-style knives and machetes, which have been used in multiple attacks, but stopped short of including swords.

“We wanted swords to be included in the ban on zombie knives but the minister for crime and policing didn’t share our view on that,” Mr Green added.

Swords are not included in plans to ban zombie knives
Swords are not included in plans to ban zombie knives (Getty Images)

“So when I saw what happened yesterday my immediate feeling was these sorts of weapons have got to be included in the ban.

“I don’t know what evidence the government needs, but I think yesterday’s events show that these weapons are used on our streets and have been used on our streets and continue to be used on our streets  -  we need to respond to that.”

The Ben Kinsella Trust educates young people on the dangers of knife crime and aims to help them to make positive choices to stay safe.

It holds workshops that follow the journey of both the victim and the offender through a series of unique and immersive experiences to show young people how choices and consequences are intrinsically linked.

The trust was set up by the family of Ben Kinsella, a student who was stabbed to death in Islington, north London, on 29 June 2008 in a “horrific act of senseless violence”.

Ben Kinsella
Ben Kinsella (PA)

Campaigners are warning that it is too easy for people intent on causing harm to purchase knives, particularly on “wild west” online market places.

The only verification needed to buy a knife from most shops online is a debit or credit card.

Mr Green has called for more stringent checks.

He said: “We would like to see better age verification online, which is a bit of a wild west in terms of retail purchases.

“We want to see much stronger processes in place - they should match what happens on the high street.”

He added: “Social media companies need to step into this space too because they have a responsibility - because their platforms are being used to sell and advertise these knives.

“Couriers, too, need to strengthen up their processes on shipping knives.”

The government says it is committed to tackling knife crime. It’s ban on zombie-style knives and machetes will come into force in September.

In January, Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “We must stop these dangerous knives ending up on our streets and in the hands of criminals. We cannot let them be sold to children, and we must give young people a way out of violence.”

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