Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 21:09 UK

Family march against knife crime

Demonstrators with banners
About 200 protesters marched to Downing Street

Family and friends of one of London's youngest stabbing victims have marched to Downing Street calling for action against violent youth crime.

David Idowu, 14, was attacked in Great Dover Street in Borough, south London, on 17 June and died in hospital.

His brother Peter met Prime Minister Gordon Brown and asked him to take urgent action to avoid "condemning young Londoners to a lifetime of fear".

A 16-year-old youth has been charged with David's murder.

About 200 people took part in the march from Great Dover Street to Downing Street.

Tougher sentences

They chanted slogans such as "Drop the knife, save a life" and carried placards calling for justice for David.

The demonstrators said they wanted greater protection for witnesses giving evidence in court and tougher sentences for those convicted.

When Peter Idowu met the prime minister on Tuesday he read a statement to him about knife and gun crime and possible solutions to the problem.

"He (Gordon Brown) said I had raised some vital points which he's going to carry out," Peter said.

David was the 19th teenager to die violently in London this year.

Peter described how the "normal" day ended in a tragedy.

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David Idowu was 14 when he was stabbed

"I came back from college, I got call from my mother saying my brother had been stabbed in the chest and that he is in hospital.

"At first I did not know what to think, I found it very hard to believe... What did he do to deserve this?" he said.

"Three weeks later when I got the news that my little brother was no more I broke down, tears uncontrollably just rolling down my face.

"May his soul rest in perfect peace."

David's friend Tosin Aiyelo, said: "What is this country coming to when we the future generation believe it is fashionable to carry a knife and then use it?

"We need solutions now, not tomorrow. For too long came the violence, then the sirens and now the silence. We need to work together and make a change as a community now!"


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