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New anti-knife crime video to be shown in Greater Manchester schools and colleges

It shares the clear message that "speaking out could save a life".

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 11th February 2022

A new campaign video aimed at reducing youth violence has been released and is to be shown at schools and colleges throughout Greater Manchester.

Following three tragic fatal stabbings of young people from the city-region recent weeks, Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – which is working with the Combined Authority (GMCA) on the campaign – has launched a new video as part of its ongoing work to reduce violence.

The short video is aimed at young people, parents and teachers, and is one of a number of measures in place to prevent further tragic incidents.

It shares the clear message that “speaking out could save a life”, GMCA says.

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A youth worker, teacher, young person, and community worker who has turned his life around after being involved in violence all feature and shares their stories in the 90-second video that has been shared on social media, and sent to schools, colleges, and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) in Greater Manchester.

“My thoughts are with the families and friends of the three young people tragically killed in recent weeks and all communities affected by violence and knife crime,” said Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire.

“There is no place for violence in our city-region.

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“We are committed to strong police enforcement to address violent crime and to trying to prevent it from happening in this first place, but this requires partners to continue to work together with young people and communities to create long-term change [and] as these recent events have all too sadly demonstrated, there is much work to be done to end serious violence and we will not stop in our efforts to do that.

“We need everyone’s help to end violence amongst young people [so] if you see anything that doesn’t feel right involving your child, a family member or a friend please speak out.”

This new campaign video comes after the VRU launched a project last year that sees highly skilled youth workers based in A&E departments across several busy hospitals.

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The ‘navigators’ respond to young people and their families when coming into hospital with injuries that result from violence, referring them on to ongoing outreach and support – such as sports clubs, or mentoring – and the programme has recently been expanded to accept referrals from the community and via North West Ambulance Service.

260 young people from across the region have been referred to the navigators to date.

There are 12 knife amnesty bins across Greater Manchester / Credit: GMP

“GMP is working with partner agencies on several initiatives to keep people safe from these weapons which, in the hands of criminals, are stealing lives, devastating families and posing threat, harm and risk to our communities,” added Detective Superintendent Chris Downey – GMP’s knife crime lead.

“I would also like to reach out to the young people within our communities and ask them to report or share any concerns regarding themselves or friends that are involved in a dispute, violence or carrying a knife.

“It’s not right to stand by and do nothing.

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“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.

“Neither GMP nor the justice system will tolerate this type of crime, we are proactively stopping and searching individuals and I would remind offenders that carrying a knife can result in a prison sentence and life-long criminal record.”

Featured Image – GMP