‘Havering Unite’ was the biggest march the east London borough has ever seen.
Over two thousand people came out on a cold and windy night to walk peacefully through the streets of Romford to demonstrate one of the biggest acts of solidarity and defiance against knife crime the capital has seen.
Following the brutal murder of 17 year Jodie Chesney, Havering residents united forces to show the rest of the country that they will not tolerate another senseless death.
A proud community came together, from the young to the old, to council members including Havering’s Council leader Councillor Damian White, who all joined forces to stand together against knife crime.
The borough marched united and defiantly hand in hand to show the country that they will fight the scourge of knife crime blighting our streets.
“Tonight we march peacefully with love in our hearts, for change, for our children, for our children’s children, for our young people and for justice for Jodie,” were the emotive words read out at the start of the march by a family friend.
“Choose life and drop the knife” were the poignant words of the night as residents marched waving purple balloons and wearing their purple ribbons in honour of the murdered 17 year old whose death has left a hole in the heart of every Havering resident.
The thousands of residents marched peacefully in total silence through the streets of Romford, occasionally shouting “for Jodie”.
The march ended outside Romford Police station where several members of the community met with senior officers.
Purple ribbons and balloons were tied across the police station railings, Havering Town Hall was especially lit up in purple and the Mercury Mall had purple escalators.
As the crowds waited outside the town hall chants of “stop and search” were heard throughout Romford as the community fights back and stands united against knife crime and to remember Jodie Chesney who’s life was brutally cut short.
So far six arrests have been made, Manuel Petrovich, a Croatian national living in Collier Row was charged with murder, a 16 year old male from Romford has also been charged with murder and an 18 year old arrested in London has also been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody after a warrant for his further detention was sought and granted. Three further people from Dagenham were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, these are a 50 year old male, a 38 year old woman and a 17 year old male, have been released from custody pending further investigation.