Teach hoodies first aid in schools, urges East End OAP after stabbings

Andy Prokopp and report of Joel Adesina's stabbing on Advertiser front page on December 11

Andy Prokopp and report of Joel Adesina's stabbing on Advertiser front page on December 11 - Credit: Archant

Pensioner Andy Prokopp has begun a campaign to get first aid on schools’ national curriculum after the killing of a 15-year-old on the streets of London’s East End and the violent death of his own teenage nephew who were both stabbed.

Andy was horrified reading the East London Advertiser’s front-page earlier this month about Joel Adesina’s death after a confrontation in Bethnal Green’s narrow Padbury Court cul-de-sac off Brick Lane.

It brought back the horrors of his own 19-year-old nephew Charlie Burns, who died in Hackney last summer.

The Burns family launched the Charlie Burns Foundation after his death as part of a campaign against youth violence on the streets.

“All schoolkids should be taught first aid,” Andy, 66, told the Advertiser.

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“Hoodies with nothing to do would become responsible citizens if they had first-aid training. It would make everyone feel safe on the streets. It would be a different atmosphere.”

Joel Adesina ran into a corner off-licence in Bethnal Green Road screaming for help after being stabbed.

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It was several minutes before an ambulance arrived with help—but too late to save Joel who died three hours later at the Royal London Hospital, following the late Friday night stabbing on December 5.

Now campaigning Andy has organised a petition calling on the government to put first aid on the national curriculum.

The “cycle of violence” can be broken by teaching first aid, says his petition, which would “replace hurting with healing and changing feral youths into caring, responsible citizens”.

His petition has around 10,000 names so far. But the poacher-turned-gamekeeper says tougher prison sentences for those convicted of violence is no answer.

“Prisons are a dismal failure—they hardly rehabilitate anyone,” Andy insists

“I’ve had a history of violence in my life, as a victim and as a perpetrator. I’ve had a brush with police and was charged with GBH when I was 19 after intervening when they were arresting a man.

“I know what the inside of prison is like—it’s a place where offenders are put into an intense ‘pool of violence’ as a penalty for committing violence.”

He has also written to education ministers and has sent an open letter calling for “moral leadership” from leaders of all faiths and telling the government it was “elected for the welfare of the citizen, as democracy’s highest law.”

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