A Catholic couple who lost their son to knife crime have welcomed the introduction of specialist medical equipment to treat catastrophic bleeding.
Some 320 bleed control kits are being supplied to bars and pubs in London’s financial district over the coming months in response to rising knife crime.
Barry and Margaret Mizen’s 16-year-old son, Jimmy, was murdered in a bakery in southeast London in 2008.
“This is not a panacea to solve knife crime; the idea really is to stop so many people dying,” Mr Mizen told Sky News.
“And if it prevents just one person losing their life then that is no bad thing.”
Mrs Mizen added: “When you lose a child to the violence the way we lost Jimmy, you really want to bring something good out of it.”
The new bleed control kits have been introduced after passionate campaigning by Lynne Baird, whose son Daniel was stabbed to death outside a pub in 2017.
The bright red containers are filled with trauma bandages, tourniquets and adhesive chest seals to treat knife wounds or gunshots.
Lynne Baird proclaimed herself “delighted” by the roll-out in the capital, but she “doesn’t want it to stop here.”
“I hope that this launch today will spark more forces to join our campaign and help make these kits available up and down the country,” she said.
Mrs Mizen paid tribute to her campaign.
“I think Lynne Baird is trying to bring something good out of the death of her lovely son Daniel. I commend her for that- I think it’s wonderful,” she said.
The initiative is believed to be the biggest of its kind in the country, following a pilot scheme in Birmingham earlier this year.
City of London Police said the decision was a “no-brainer” given rising levels of violent crime. In the 12 months to June 2019, there was a record high of 44,000 knife crimes in England and Wales.
NHS England figures show hospital admissions for all injuries caused by an assault with a knife or sharp object have gone up by almost a third since 2013, to 4,986 last year.
Chief Superintendent David Lawes said: “This is a really, really simply piece of kit which can make a big difference.
“Particularly with the most catastrophic bleeds, if you don’t get help in the first few minutes the person will almost certainly die.”
Ambulances take an average of seven minutes to get to patients suffering major bleeds. It is hoped the equipment will help bar staff and the public give potentially life-saving help before paramedics arrive.
Picture: Barry and Margaret Mizen (Facebook)