Anyone carrying a blade is risking everything: prison, hospital, even their own life. That’s the message being shared with a group of Tameside young people.
They were taking part in the Prince’s Trust Team Programme run by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. The group spent two weeks working on a knife crime project with Tameside Council’s Community Safety Team, as part of the Our Streets campaign, and Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
This awareness-raising activity was taking place as part of Operation Sceptre, a national week of action to tackle knife crime running from 11-17 March.
The project looked at the many victims on knife crime and saw the young people produce some radio clips for broadcast with the support of Tameside Radio.
Through a storyboard they produced, the group created a short piece about an individual stabbed to death by his girlfriend. It showed the effects of the crime on the people connected to it including the couple and their family and friends.
Anyone caught with a knife could receive up to four years in prison even if it hasn’t been used, as it’s a serious offence and carrying a weapon for self-protection is not a defence. Once convicted, an individual will have a criminal record for several years which will make it harder to find a job and visit other countries.
Carrying a blade doesn’t just have an impact on the individual, it can affect their family and friends if someone they care about gets injured, goes to prison or is killed. The individual could find the weapon used on themselves as a situation can quickly escalate out of control, putting someone in more danger if they have a blade with them.
Cllr Allison Gwynne, Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “It’s vital we educate young people in the borough about the devastating and wide-ranging effects of knife crime. Through this project we’ve done some great work with our partners at GMP and it’s fantastic we can show the young people’s perspective of this issue on Tameside Radio over the coming months.
“This Prince’s Trust programme helps unemployed young people in the area learn important skills on their route to work, while making new friends and contacts at the same time.”
The clips will be played on Tameside Radio over the next few months.
For more information about this and the fight against knife crime in Tameside please contact Gillian Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.