Andy Burnham and new Deputy Mayor back anti-knife crime campaign

Mayor Andy Burnham and newly-appointed Deputy Mayor Kate Green have backed a campaign educating children on gang-violence.

They attended a talk at Newman College RC in Oldham held by 1 Message, which mentors at-risk young people, in partnership with the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). 

Andy Burnham said: “The preventative work being delivered though our Violence Reduction Unit is a vitally important way of making Greater Manchester a safer place.”

Deputy Mayor, Kate Green, who took office last week, said: “We’ve all seen the devastating consequences of violent crime in communities across Greater Manchester and the rest of the country.

“I am committed to prevent violence and keep people safe.”

Matthew Norford, an ex-gang member who founded 1 Message after the death of his brother, delivered the talk. 

Mr. Norford said: “I am really pleased that I am able to use my life experiences to help other young people build self-esteem, realise their potential and move away from crime and violence.”

In 2022, knife crime had risen by 33% since 2010 while Manchester reported a higher rate of knife crime than London with 128 incidents per 100,000 according to a report by the House of Commons.

In response, the VRU has invested £1.6 million into community led programmes in Manchester, Salford, Bury, Bolton, Oldham, Tameside, Wigan and Trafford with plans to expand into all boroughs. 

Visit the Violence Reduction Unit and 1 Message websites for more resources on how communities in Manchester are reducing violent crime.

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