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Antony Antoniou – Reform UK Northampton North
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
(PPC) 2024 General Election

Knife crime in Northampton North is alarming

Knife crime in Northampton North is alarming

A 15-year-old boy faced conviction for the murder of another teenager in a revenge attack. Fred, aged 16 and known as Rohan Shand, perished after being stabbed on Northampton’s Harborough Road on 22 March.

The boy was found guilty following a three-week trial at Northampton Crown Court. The jury acquitted a second defendant, a 17-year-old boy, of murder and manslaughter charges. Both defendants previously admitted possession of a blade and await sentencing at the same court.

The younger defendant, 14 at the time, told the jury he carried a knife solely to “scare” Mr Shand.

Jurors heard Mr Shand was blamed by the defendants after one of their friends was injured in a McDonald’s dispute a day earlier. The younger defendant said he and two others planned a “revenge” attack on Mr Shand and others. Snapchat discussions and scouting near Mr Shand’s school preceded the attack.

The defendants sought Mr Shand and another boy “to fight”, but the younger one insisted he never expected a killing, despite bringing two knives. The seven-second attack prompted witnesses to alert police, who found the younger teen hiding in an attic.

Reacting to the verdicts, Mr Shand’s father, Rohan Shand Snr, said: “Justice has taken place for my son. It’s not going to bring back my son.”

He hoped “these youths see what is going on and start to take heed from this. You’re not going to kill someone with a knife and walk free.”

Det Insp Simon Barnes called the violence used to resolve a “petty dispute” “horrifying”.

He described the “brutal and public” nature of the death as causing “shockwaves”.

“Fred had a family expecting him to arrive home from school, but that wasn’t to be,” he said.

“Since when has it been that a child cannot walk home from school without fear of being stabbed? How did we, as a society, get here?”


He warned: “Boys and young men need to realise that when you take a knife to a fight, this is the consequence. The teenager responsible will now carry this guilt and the stigma attached for the rest of his life.”


Knife crime in any number is catastrophic, young men are becoming increasingly drawn in to knife-crime and the consequences are all to often devastating. Here in Northampton North, there has been a worrying increase in both drugs and knife-crime and this must be addressed, before it increases even further.

We need more CCTV and police presence on the streets, but we must also address the causes, not just the symptoms. It will not do to brush this under the carpet, or to justify any form of anti-social behaviour, because this is a downward spiral and the only way to deal with this is by prevention, before these boys are drawn in to the world of drugs and crime.

There have been some steps taken already on a local level by Kingsthorpe Parish Council to reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour, but this needs to be a collective effort and to be effective, we need support. There is not enough CCTV in Kingsthorpe, or Northampton North as a whole and this must be the starting point. We also need to look at using modern technology to assist people in reporting incidents as soon as possible.

I am in discussion with local people to look for suggestions on taking some steps to improve things, if you do have any suggestions, please feel free to get in touch with me and hopefully, we can address this collectively as a community.

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