YEP says: Brutal truths about knives in Leeds

14 June 2018......   Leeds Lives not Knives' Blacka Brown, a former offender Sarah Lloyd, mother of Kieran Butterworth, 17, who was killed with a knife in 2013, PC Mark Rothery, and Kauser Jan asistants head teacher at Bankside Primary School, Harehills. Picture Tony Johnson.
14 June 2018...... Leeds Lives not Knives' Blacka Brown, a former offender Sarah Lloyd, mother of Kieran Butterworth, 17, who was killed with a knife in 2013, PC Mark Rothery, and Kauser Jan asistants head teacher at Bankside Primary School, Harehills. Picture Tony Johnson.
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KNIVES do not kill people, people kill people.

aybe that’s a tired old phrase borrowed from the same saying about guns. But maybe it’s actually worth a little closer examination.

As our main story today reports with more than 10 gun and knife-related incidents taking place in Leeds over the past month, the need to come up with new ways to tackle the issue of weapons on our city’s streets has never been greater. It’s very rare that a young person sets off to school with the intention of killing someone (of course there are some tragic exceptions) and yet earlier this year, a YEP investigation revealed the number of children caught with knives in school had more than doubled in the past year.

It’s simple, it needs a person to wield a weapon in anger, but the chances of an argument having fatal consequences increases massively if there’s a weapon to hand.

That’s why the latest “Leeds Lives not Knives” campaign is to be welcomed. It’s taking a far more direct approach to getting this message over to young people in our city.

PC Mark Rothery, who helped organise the campaign, explains: “It needs to be real life stories - with emotion, raw and real, so they can think about their own families.”

The success of their campaign might not be immediately obvious, but if it resonates with one or two youngsters it’s a start. Sitting back wringing our hands is not an option.

Recent knife crimes and firearms incidents in Leeds. See the full list here