FORMER Home Secretary David Blunkett has praised the work of organisations keeping Colcestrians safe - including the Gazette's Lives Not Knives campaign.

The Labour MP was in Colchester to visit the SOS bus which provides help for vulnerable people in Colchester town centre on Fridays and Saturday nights.

He praised the anti-knife campaign which was launched following the tragic death of Tendring Technology student Jay Whiston, 17, who was stabbed outside a house party in Marlowe Road, Lexden.

He said: “All power to the elbows of campaigners in getting that message across both to young people and parents.

“Quite often people do know their son has one and their friends know, and we have got to get the message across that it’s not cool."