New campaign to combat knife crime launched in Greater Manchester after fatal stabbings

The video shares the clear message that ‘speaking out could save a life’.  Credit: PA

A new campaign to combat knife crime has been launched across Greater Manchester.

The initiative follows three tragic fatal stabbings of young people in recent weeks.

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’. 

  • #SpeakOutToSaveaLife was produced by the region's Violence Reduction Unit

A youth worker, teacher, young person, and community worker who has turned his life around after being involved in violence all feature 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.

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: "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.

Matthew Norford, Founder & CEO of 1 Message speaking in the video

"There is no place for violence in our city-region. 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. 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. If you see anything that doesn’t feel right involving your child, a family member or a friend please speak out. Contact the police, school, or another trusted adult to get help and keep them safe."

Akemia Minott, Managing Director of 84 Youth speaking in the video

The video comes after three young people were fatally stabbed over three weeks.

20-year-old Dylan Keenan was attacked outside a local shop in Tameside on Friday 4 February. It's believed he had gone to buy balloons for a party.

16-year-old Kennie Carter was stabbed to death close to his home in Stretford on January 22.

The following weekend 17-year-old Alan Szelugowski died from a single stab wound in Clowes Park in Salford.

Dylan Keelan. Credit: GMP

Activity carried out by Greater Manchester Police has included securing special powers to increase stop and search in some areas and increased police patrols.

Forever Amnesty knife bins continue to be in place at police stations and locations across Greater Manchester and anyone can drop off a knife with no questions asked. You can find the location of your nearest bin here.  

Greater Manchester Police’s knife crime lead, Defective Superintendent Chris Downey, said: "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.

"That being said, we all have a part to play when it comes to tackling the issue.

"Teachers, parents, guardians and extended family members, you can all play a vital role in preventing young people from becoming involved in knife crime, and we advise you to try to talk to them openly about the dangers, as well as the life-changing consequences that come from carrying a knife.

"If you know or suspect someone carries a knife, I ask you to contact police as soon as possible before it is too late. If you have any other information about crime, please share that too."