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Honour for crime activist Kinsella

Former EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella is being given an MBE for her tireless campaigning against knife crime after her teenage brother was stabbed to death.

The murder of talented 16-year-old Ben Kinsella in June 2008 shocked the nation and left his family devastated.

Ms Kinsella, 27, responded to the tragedy by setting up the Ben Kinsella Trust in her brother's memory and becoming a prominent anti-knife crime activist.

The Government appointed her as an adviser on the issue and earlier this year she published a report into what can be done to tackle the problem.

Ben died on June 29 2008 after a fight in a bar spilled out on to the streets in Islington, north London. He had been celebrating the end of his GCSEs and was the 17th teenager to be killed in the capital that year.

Ms Kinsella, who played Kelly Taylor in EastEnders from 2001 to 2004, gave voice to public horror at the waste of promising young lives.

The day after her brother's murder she made an emotional plea for teenagers to put down their knives, saying: "Now truly is the time to stand up and put an end to this. Please, please let us learn from Ben and every other child that has been stolen from us."

After working with the Conservatives on knife crime before the general election, Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May asked her to report on the effectiveness of projects designed to keep young people away from violent crime.

Announcing her findings in February, Ms Kinsella said prisons needed to be tougher and called for primary schools to give children anti-knife crime workshops.

She said at the time: "The key word is prevention, not cure. Every kid who has picked up a knife has to have done so for the first time and we need to get in there before the thought even crosses their mind, so that even when it comes to making that choice they're fully aware of the consequences."


From Belfast Telegraph