An anti-knife crime campaign aimed at shining a light on the positive actions of young people has been launched at a shopping centre.

The Mall in Walthamstow's charity partner Waltham Forest Community Hub launched an anti-knife crime campaign last Saturday, April 13.

Representatives from the charity met with young people at The Mall to discuss how to solve the problem of knife crime.

Youth engagement officer at the charity, Sonita Turner, said: " We decided to launch the campaign as there is so much negativity surrounding young people in the media at the moment, due to the high levels of knife crime.

"It is particularly prevalent within the Borough of Waltham Forest and we felt that The Mall was a good central location for the launch and a familiar place where youngsters feel safe and comfortable.

"There are so many young people out there who are doing wonderful things, enjoying their childhoods and just trying their best to succeed on their journey into young adulthood, but no-one gets to hear these stories. Over the coming months we hope to break the stereotype that all young people are involved in knife crime."

"We were absolutely thrilled with the turnout on Saturday. It was fantastic to meet with so many young people from the area. There were some familiar faces and lots of new ones too. It was a really positive start for the campaign and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow.

"2019 has been an exciting whirlwind for us so far; firstly becoming The Mall Cares Charity of the Year 2019 and then planning and launching our youth-led campaign challenging knife crime. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings."

The charity also set up a Twitter account @stow_in to support the campaign which has more than 100 followers and is using the hashtag #NotAllYoungPeopleCarryKnives to help spread positive messages and rally against the negativity of knife crime.

The Mall marketing manager Richard Jones said: "We were absolutely delighted that the charity chose to launch its high-profile campaign at The Mall and support it wholeheartedly.

"Knife-crime is on the rise, particularly within city centres and we need to join together as a local communities to stamp it out.

"It was great to see so many youngsters sharing their views and taking an interest in this very emotive subject and we will do everything we can to help our charity partner move this forward."