Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has launched a new video as part of its ongoing work with partners to reduce violence in the city-region.
It follows three tragic fatal stabbings of young people in Greater Manchester 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’.
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.
Watch the short video here:
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.
“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.”
Last year, the VRU launched a project that sees highly skilled youth workers based in A&E departments across several busy hospitals.
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.
The programme has recently been expanded to accept referrals from the community and via North West Ambulance Service.
To date, 260 young people from across Greater Manchester have been referred to the navigators.
The VRU and Greater Manchester Combined Authority are also working with young people to develop the next phase of a targeted campaign aimed at highlighting positive opportunities.
Activity carried out by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) 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, Detective 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.
I would also like to reach out to the young people within our communities and ask them to report or share any concerns (even anonymously) 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. 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."
To report concerns, people can use GMP LiveChat at www.gmp.police.uk or call 101, or to give information anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency.
For help and support visit: https://iamgreater.co.uk/help-and-support/
Find out more about the VRU here: https://gmvru.co.uk/
Article Published: 10/02/2022 15:15 PM