March 2024: News from Mayor Marvin Rees

Bristol mourns Mason and Max

 My thoughts remain with everyone affected by the tragic deaths of Mason Rist, 15, and Max Dixon, 16, following an incident on Ilminster Avenue in Knowle West in late January. 

With my cabinet at our meeting last month, we shared our sincerest condolences with their families, who are going through a pain which nobody – no parent – should have to experience. 

Like people across south Bristol, our whole city, and beyond, I was deeply saddened to hear of this further loss of life. As the police have said, any loss of life is devastating but this case is particularly so, as the two young victims had their entire lives ahead of them. 

The murder inquiry launched by Avon & Somerset Police has, at the time of writing, arrested and charged a number of people in relation to these horrific events. 

With hundreds of local people, and Filwood councillor Chris Jackson, I attended the vigil in Knowle West the evening after this double murder, and found the community’s response and mobilisation incredibly moving and powerful. People have come together to grieve, with a real resolution to do all they can. 

The council, including my cabinet members, has been working in partnership with the community, schools, partner organisations like the Robins Foundation and Youth Moves, and the police to support people affected. Our director of public health has written joint letters with the police to the community and local young people signposting everyone affected to the support which is still available. 

Mental health support is on offer from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, Off the Record, Samaritans, and Bristol MIND. We would encourage anyone experiencing a reaction associated with trauma to call 111, contact their GP, and/or talk to someone they trust. 

Max and Mason are sadly not the first young people that Bristol has lost to knife crime. As a city, we will do all we can to support their families. At Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, we saw a united city in two minutes’ applause in Mason and Max’s memory. 

While we can likely unfortunately never totally eliminate the risk, and there is the need for real national reform, we must also continue working locally to try to prevent further tragedies.