Sheffield youth worker pens hard-hitting book on the impact of knife crime
A Sheffield youth worker desperate to see an end to knife crime in the city has written a book about its devastating impact.
Anthony Olaseinde, who runs Always an Alternative, a mentoring programme for young people, wants to educate those who may not be aware about the seriousness of the problem. Knife crime has risen by more than half in South Yorkshire since 2015 and the most common age of suspects identified is 18.
While much of his work involves workshops with at-risk youngsters, which are delivered alongside family members who have lost loved ones to violent crime – either as a victim or perpetrator serving a prolonged prison sentence – he has now written a book in the hope of reaching a different audience.
Anthony, 32, from Hillsborough, said: “One Knife Many Lives highlights the impact that knife crime has on families, friends and communities. It also highlights depression, domestic abuse, and suicide as well as life in prison and what it does to you mentally.
"It’s not only to try and help young people read, it’s to capture another group of people that wouldn’t normally think about knife crime impacting them until it’s too late.”
He hopes to release the book by September 1, with almost 100 copies already pre-ordered.
Anthony added: "The people in the workshops, they’re the people we already know. We need to reach the people who don’t know and we need to reach them in a different way.”
Since being set up three years ago, Always an Alternative, which Anthony runs voluntarily alongside his security business, has helped more than 200 young people.
He said: “Any young person can get involved in knife crime, or older person. It’s got no fit. I noticed the young people who are getting involved in knife crime weren’t in gangs or selling drugs, they were just doing it pointlessly without any motive.
“I felt they didn’t understand the severity of what they were doing. I just wanted to be that person I needed when I was growing up. I didn’t have access to anybody and had to learn the hard way.”
You can pre-order One Knife Many Lives for £12 delivered at alwaysanalternative.org.uk.