Last month, Greater Manchester saw almost 20 high profile incidents of knife-related crime. Alongside the widely reported stabbing of four people in an attack at the Arndale Centre in October and a lower profile stabbing of a boy on a magic bus, several areas across Greater Manchester bore witness to incidents of knife crime.
Throughout October, the Manchester Evening News found there have been 18 reported high profile incidents of knife crime across the region, 13 of which involved a person being stabbed. The remaining 5 were occasions where a knife was used to threaten, that was brandished or was found on a person by the police.
The MEN showed that Fallowfield, Rusholme, Longsight, Wigan, Royton, Harpurhey, Salford, Blackley, Stockport, Levenshulme, and the city centre had all reported occurrences of knife crime during October.
Following this rise in stabbings Councillor Pat Karney has called for the city to reach out to policy makers in London to find a solution to knife-related crime across the region. Karney is a Councillor for Harpurhey, his comments were made after two teenagers were stabbed outside a McDonalds in the suburb last month.
Last year Manchester was identified as one of the 18 cities in the country to have a problem with knife-related crime.
In response to the October stabbings, Greater Manchester Police Chiefs have said that they recognise the problem with knife crime in the region but stress that extra funding from the Home Office, secured since the problem was highlighted last year, has allowed them to tackle the problem and start to see results – between April and June of this year there was a 23% reduction year-on-year of knife-related crimes and a 37% reduction of incidents involving under 25 year olds.
The extra funding has allowed for significant amounts of time and resources to be devoted to tackling knife crime, including extra officers on the beat in “hot-spot” areas and multi-agency prevention work. The funding has also allowed the police to conduct a 243% increase in stop and searches across the region.
Speaking on the number of high profile incidents of knife crime last month, Superintendent Chris Downey said: ”Greater Manchester has knife incidents every month, it always has. This month doesn’t feel any different to me. The Arndale incident with the involvement of counter-terrorism officers was unique.”
Given the achievements already made this year in knife crime reduction, Superintendent Downey added: “As someone who sits here and looks at every incident day in, day out, I think we are seeing reductions and that we are on the right road.”