Oxford

Knife victim Blayne Ridgway's mother supports campaign

Julie Ridgway
Image caption Julie Ridgway said that since her son's murder her life was a nightmare

The mother of a man who was murdered outside an Oxford nightclub has spoken in support of a police campaign to reduce knife crime.

Blayne Ridgway, 22, was stabbed twice by 16-year-old Eze Eke, in the early hours of 8 May last year. The teenager was jailed in December for 15 years.

Mr Ridgway's mother, Julie, said her life was now a nightmare because of that "senseless act."

She added: "Nothing good will come out of it if you carry a knife."

In response to Mr Ridgway's death and other serious crimes, Thames Valley Police have launched a five-day campaign, called Operation Blade.

It will involve a number of events around the city aimed at dissuading young people from carrying knives.

The number of arrests for possession of a knife or blade in Oxfordshire have reduced since 2008 when there were 202 arrests, compared to 137 in 2010.

'Serious attacks'

But Det Insp Simon Morton said the campaign was taking place now because there had been an increase in the number of attacks which endanger lives.

He said: "This is not scare-mongering. Oxford is generally a very safe place to live and go out.

"It's about targeting our resources at an area of concern.

"The number of serious attacks with a knife have only gone up by 30 cases in the last year but it is a culture that we are trying to break.

"This is the start of a cooperative campaign with a range of agencies who are all looking to solve the problem."

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