Police have stark warning to young children about the dangers of carrying knives

Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist Jennifer Buck

A stark warning has been issued to children about the dangers of carrying a blade, as figures show thousands of knife crimes have been reported in Greater Manchester this year.

The simple message - ditch the knives to save lives - is being delivered by prison and police officers to a million school children across the region.

Greater Manchester Police hope hard facts and shock tactics will give young people a lesson they will never forget.

The officers show the children knives handed in at other schools and give them a a harrowing demonstration about how long it would take to bleed to death.

The hard-hitting message aims to stop young people arming themselves with a knife.

Paul McGovern, from HMP Manchester, who is part if the campaign tells the young people: "If you carry a knife and you pull a knife and you don't use it, there is a 56% chance that knife will be used on you. Do not carry a knife."

Speaking after a session at Hey with Zion Primary School in Oldham, Paul added: "Knife crime has increased a fair bit.

"I'm getting more and more calls where someone has actually died from a school, and we are attending, and that's hard where the children have lost a cohort."

Knife crime is a growing problem in Greater Manchester.

Just recently, a teenager was stabbed on a bus in Liverpool, and a 14-year-old was found guilty of the murder of schoolgirl Ava White, who was fatally stabbed at a Christmas light switch on.

Knife crime is a growing problem.

In the current year (May 2022) there have been nearly 4,500 knife crimes in Greater Manchester - a rise of 594 on the previous year.

In the year from April 2019 to 2020, there were 13 knife related deaths.

The figure increased to 21 deaths in the following year.

Supt Caroline Hemingway, Greater Manchester Police Violence Reduction Unit, said: "We have seen an increase in knife crime in Greater Manchester and we've seen four tragic deaths of people this year, so GMP remain committed to tackling knife crime.

"What's important is to start with the primary school children. They can influence the behaviour of their peers, their older siblings, and their parents.

"So it's vitally important we get the message out."

It is hoped the message will cut through any uncertainly and stop these young people ever arming themselves with a knife.