Knife crime from the view of a Family Liaison Officer on the Murder Squad
Unfortunately by the time I meet a family it is because their loved one has been killed.
The first meeting is a daunting experience for everyone involved. There is so much for the family to take in; the fact that their son or daughter has been killed, and the fact this may all be down to the use of a knife. Then begins the difficult journey of not only a grieving parent but that of a police investigation as well.
As a Family Liaison Officer (FLO), I can build a very close rapport with a family while they are going through this difficult time, which can last some time before concluding with a trial at court. I’m a member of the investigation team and the conduit between the family and the team.
It can be very hard for a family to understand the process of a police investigation, which can impact them in many ways – including when they can hold a funeral. I have to be open and honest about the need for such protocols, explaining why they are so important to the investigation.
The question that so many families will often ask me is ‘WHY?’ They want to know their family member was attacked and killed. This is of course a very hard question to answer.
I have dealt with many families who have lost their loved ones to a single stab wound. This seems so senseless.
I have known too many mothers who have lost their sons to knife crime. I’m a mother too so its almost impossible not to think of how I would feel were I in their shoes.
It is very hard to understand what makes someone carry a knife, but I have seen first hand the devastating effect it has on so many lives.