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Knife crime now a ‘rarity’ after Connor’s murder

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 29, 2014

Connor Upton....Destynne Upton

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KNIFE crime in Burton is now a ‘very rare’ occurrence thanks to measures put in place following the murder of a Stapenhill man four years ago.

The crackdown that was launched in the wake of the fatal stabbing of Connor Upton in June 2010 has had a major impact in tackling knife-related incidents in the town.

Police chiefs and the 21-year-old’s family and friends have been working ever since to tackle the hot topic in the town, and are continuing to do so.

The Government recently announced tougher legislation that means mandatory jail terms for any adult convicted in England of a second offence involving a knife.

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Connor’s mother Yvonne, who lives in Stapenhill, said: “I still would love to see mandatory jail sentences for all knife crimes, but the Government’s changes are a step in the right direction. I believe the natural root to putting an end to this problem is via better education.”

Mrs Upton also said she would continue her work to cut knife crime in a bid to make sure other families do not have to suffer the ‘heartbreak’ hers has had to endure.

Father-of-two Connor was killed outside Merlin’s nightclub, stabbed to death by George Lawrence, who was armed with a blade during a night out.

Staffordshire Police responded to the issue of knife crime in Burton by launching Operation Centurion.

Hundreds of potentially deadly weapons were taken off the streets of Burton following a month-long amnesty.

The Mail has reported a number of prosecution cases against people caught carrying knives into town centre nightspots. A pub and nightclub banning scheme was set up in Burton to stop people with knives.

Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, commander of the East Staffordshire local policing team, said: “I would like to stress that knife crime in Burton is a rarity.”

He previously told the Mail the town did not have a high knife crime rate when compared to major cities, but work is always being done to reduce the threat to those in the area.

Carlton Hines, of Waterloo Street, Burton, was jailed for eight years last week after stabbing Elliott Deaves following an argument.

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