Two community groups have teamed up to tackle the issue of knife crime in young people in Salford.

Salford Community Leisure and City West Housing Trust will use the sport of parkour, also known as free running, in an attempt to get young people off the streets and away from anti-social behaviour.

Parkour has a successful track record in getting young people away from crime as, according to figures from the Metropolitan Police, when sports projects such as parkour were introduced in the Borough of Westminster school holidays, crimes of young people fell by approximately 70 per cent.

Groups argue involving young people in sports such as Parkour allows them to be active and have fun in a safe environment away from the peer pressure of negative influences.

Matt Jones, Managing Director of City West Housing said: “We are committed to creating vibrant communities where people feel safe.

“Our goal is to empower young people to build a better future for themselves. We are really proud to be working with Salford Community Leisure and partners on this important project which will not only provide diversionary activities and training opportunities, but really bring home to hundreds of young people the consequences of knife crime.”

The sessions are free and accessible to all young people in Salford, and will also include the help of young volunteers.

As part of the scheme, training will be delivered to volunteers and employees involved in the seven ongoing youth projects in Salford where parkour is held to ensure that young people and engaging and are educated around knife crime in the future.

In a recent Ofsted report, the chief of the inspections body, Amanda Spielman, said that schools cannot tackle knife crime alone, and there was a “harmful narrative” developing that exclusions must cause children to join gangs or carry knives.

But she added the issue was “too complex” to be reduced to binary arguments, and that schools cannot tackle the issue alone.

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The Home Office’s #KnifeFree campaign shares 4 ways to live #knifefree:

  1. Consider whether the people you surround yourself with are having a positive impact on your life
  2. Try and think of a way to say no because you’re put on the spot, so you’re ready – it could save your life.
  3. Try and stay away from situations that you know are likely to result in conflict or violence
  4. Find positive activities to channel your energy and help you avoid dangerous situation. This will also help you meet others living knife free.

Salford Now has also previously shared hints and tips to open your eyes to the possibility of knife crime

‘Open your eyes to knives’ – GMP responds after recent stabbings

For more information on where you can get involved in the free-running sessions, check out Salford Community Leisure’s website.

For more information on the #knifefree campaign, check out their official website here.

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