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PM asks for viewing of hard-hitting film against street knife violence

PUBLISHED: 17:16 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 August 2010

THE CAST:The youngsters who play Rob Knox and his friends.

THE CAST:The youngsters who play Rob Knox and his friends.

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has requested a private viewing of Cold Kiss, the father of the murdered teen revealed at the launch. Colin Knox told about 200 guests that Families United have been invited to No. 10 so he can see the film produced by Dustl

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has requested a private viewing of Cold Kiss, the father of the murdered teen revealed at the launch.

Colin Knox told about 200 guests that Families United have been invited to

No. 10 so he can see the film produced by Dustlight Films.

He spoke to a hushed audience after the 15-minute anti-knife crime film was played for the first time.

Watching the film were members of Families United, a group set up as an advice and support service for families who have been devastated by street murders.

They included anti-knife campaigner and former Eastender's actress Brooke Kinsella, whose brother Ben, 16, was knifed to death, Barry and Margaret Mizen, whose son Jimmy was murdered in a bakery in Lee and Richard Taylor, father of 10-year-old Damilola, who was stabbed with a broken bottle and died in the stairwell of flats in Peckham in November 2000.

Mr Knox told the audience: "Gordon Brown was invited tonight and when I got a call saying he would not be coming, well I expected that.

"But he said he wants to see the film and has requested a private viewing. So Families United that's the upside he is agreeing to see the film and we should be going to

No. 10 to show all the good work that has gone in to the making of this and what these young people have achieved."

He added: "This is a film with a statement, a film with a particular statement. We need to keep the momentum going and get the backing and get the message out there.

"I heard someone say the other day that the situation is improving, but that is why we must not take the foot off the gas."

He also hailed the formation of Families United saying it was set up for those who have to deal with the murder of their child or relative "on a daily basis" and allows them to show "solidarity" as they run their own campaigns and initiatives to make the streets safer.

Sally Knox, Rob's mother, added: "The Rob Knox Memorial Fund is about keeping Rob's memory alive.

"We want to go in to schools and teach respect and street awareness. We want to create a bursary at D&B drama school in Bromley, not all kids want to go in to sport even with the Olympics around the corner. We want to give youngsters a chance to follow Rob's dream of acting. We don't want other families to suffer as we have."

Produced by Rob's friend Aaron Truss, from Chislehurst, of Dustlight Films, the gritty drama showed Ray Winstone struggle to cope with his daughter Kelly, played by actress Lexie Lambert, as she comes to turns with the death of her boyfriend.

Starting with her in prison the film showed the build up to her incarceration as she self-harmed and stalked a group of teens responsible for his death.

As she struggles with her breakdown she purposely befriends a gang member before knifing him as they sit on a park bench.

The audience were clearly shocked by the thought-provoking film, families of those whose loved ones have been murdered watched in stunned silence, some moved to tears, before a rousing applause was given to the film and speakers.

A tribute at the end of the credits reads: "Rob you touched so many hearts and you are still touching hearts today."

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We are determined to do everything in our power to tackle the menace of knife crime and prevent the deaths of young people on our streets.

"That is why tougher penalties have been introduced for those caught in possession of a knife, with the starting point for an adult now three months in jail.

"We have also made it clear that anyone aged 16 or over should be prosecuted at their first offence and we have doubled the maximum sentence for being caught with a knife to four years imprisonment.

"Sentencing in individual cases is, and must remain, a matter for the courts, but statistics show that tougher penalties are being imposed.

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