Knife crime summit planned in Leeds as young people name issue among top concerns

A summit will be held in Leeds after young people in the city named knife crime among their top issues.

The Make Your Mark ballot, the largest youth consultation in the UK, found knife crime was one of the main concerns for young people both in Leeds and nationally.

A youth summit focusing on the issue of knife crime is to be held in Leeds. Picture: Alan Simpson/PA Archive/PA Images

A youth summit focusing on the issue of knife crime is to be held in Leeds. Picture: Alan Simpson/PA Archive/PA Images

Read more: The sharp edge - the impact of knife crime on the streets of Yorkshire

Almost 25,000 Leeds youngsters aged 11 to 18 took part in the ballot - the equivalent of 36 per cent of the city's youth population.

Now Leeds Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) and Leeds City Council's Voice, Influence and Change team are preparing to host an awareness event dedicated to the issue.

The Youth Summit will take place at Pudsey Civic Hall on Tuesday with support from West Yorkshire Police and Life Experience.

Coun Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council's executive member for children and families, said:"Knife crime was voted one of the top issues for young people in Leeds so it's incredibly important that we take their concerns on board.

"Through working with citywide partners and hosting events such as this one, we hope to educate young people about the negative implications of carrying a knife and encourage them to raise awareness in their schools, local communities and the wider city.

Read more: Police cash will tackle knife crime in Leeds schools

Since 2016, the Voice, Influence and Change team has hosted various Youth Summit events to enable large numbers of young people from across the city to share their views, contribute to citywide consultations and work on campaigns.

This particular Youth Summit event will be attended by over 100 students from secondary schools across the city, all of whom took part in the ballot.

It will consist of a creative performance based around the issue of knife crime, various workshops, and a session which will encourage attendees to think of ways that they can raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife in their schools, local communities and wider city.

Coun Venner said: "In Leeds, we value the voice and influence of our children and young people, and recognise the positive contributions that they can make to our communities. Youth Summits are a fantastic forum for young people to come together and express their views on issues that matter to them."

Read more: Knife seized from boy aged just 14 as police forces reveal surge in knife crime