Young people urged to speak out as police work to tackle knife crime

A total of 93 weapons were taken off the streets and 37 people arrested during a week of action to tackle knife crime.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 1:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 2:28 pm

Operation Sceptre saw police forces across the country come together for a campaign to address the problem.

Across Greater Manchester, there were educational talks in schools and colleges with hundreds of students, stop and search activity, knife sweeps, high visibility patrols, warrants and visits to known habitual knife carriers.

The force also worked with a training company to deliver a search course for teachers and college tutors, which was commissioned through Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit to give teachers the skills, equipment and training to reduce the risk of prohibited items being taken into schools.

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The week of action was focused on tackling knife crime

Officers visited 42 retail stores to check staff members' knowledge regarding the sale of knives.

Supt Chris Downey, Greater Manchester Police's knife crime lead, said: “This week of intensification highlights our focus on knife crime and the importance of supporting young people here in Greater Manchester.

"Our commitment to tackling knife crime remains a priority throughout the whole year, as we continue to work to identify those involved, address the root causes of this type of crime, educate our communities, provide preventative advice and ensure those carrying and using weapons are brought to justice.

"Policing will always proactively police 'hot spots' and those who commit violence will be targeted, but at the same time we and our partners have to think differently to reduce the need to do this by preventing violence in the first place.

"It is 18 months since the launch of the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit and I’m delighted to see the innovative approaches starting to become effective. I’m confident this will help to change the mindset of those young people in our communities who may have otherwise thought about carrying a knife.

“Fortunately, the vast majority of the public don't carry knives or a weapon but if you are involved in knife crime, I urge you to reflect and make positive change for yourself, your family and your community, because the impact of knife crime can be truly devastating.

"I would also like to encourage our communities to play their part in helping us tackle this issue. Please share our knife crime message, talk openly with family members and friends and report any concerns you have.

"Finally, young people will often go to any lengths to look after their peers and are often reluctant to report or share their concerns (even anonymously) if friends are involved in a dispute, violence or carrying a knife. It's vital that we reiterate to young people the importance of reporting information, as it's not right to stand by and do nothing. This is not about getting friends in trouble; in the vast majority of instances our involvement is about keeping people safe and understanding why someone feels the need to carry a weapon.

"If a young person doesn't feel comfortable reporting information, we advise they tell a trusted adult, such as a parent, family member or teacher who can help. If they are worried that someone will find out they've given information, reports and concerns can be made anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.fearless.org ."

A new campaign named I Am Greater has been launched for young people, which unites them against violence by choosing to say "violence isn’t me … I am greater". Find out more at iamgreater.co.uk

To report an incident to the police, call 101 or use the LiveChat feature at www.gmp.police.uk. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

Advice for parents wishing to speak to their children about knife crime is available on the force's website here.Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here