Young people in Salford have a new champion in the campaign against the knife crime “epidemic”.

The city’s newly-elected young Mayor 16-year-old Mitchell Mullin has declared it a major issue for his year in office.

He said: “Knife crime is taking people’s lives faster than anything else and is something that has become an epidemic and no one is doing anything about it.

“In Salford we have to work on knife crime. I think it is important that people should help each other by talking with the police more if they know anything and actually do something to help reduce the number of knife crimes in the area.”

Mitchell also referred to the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Yousef Ghaleb Makki in Manchester last week.

The importance of knife crime has been climbing higher on the social agenda as crime rates throughout Manchester increase. However, data from the Office for National Statistics prior to December 2017 has been deemed false and discounted. New statistics show that over a 12-month period from February 2018, until February 2019, the number of blade related crimes was actually 3,500. In other words, this is two times higher than previously considered.

Mr Mullin encouraged the youth to think twice before grabbing a blade: “I want young people to put the knife down and also look at the reasons for which they are carrying it in the first place. That could be anything from social life, community, school or family. Young people need to stop the knife crime. Violence isn’t the answer to anything”.

Knife crime is not the only thing Mitchell is passionate about. The role of the 16-year old mayor also involves fundraising, charity and mostly working with young people.

He said: “The main focus is fundraising, but then the youth council also works on different groups. So for instance mine is increasing youth’s voice and also promoting youth volunteering in the city of Salford and surrounding the city. So even though it is a charitable role we still get work done. So we still have our own manifesto and agenda to put through our year in term.”

While he has been a mayor for only a bit more than a week, Mitchell has already visited the Salford-based charity Wipe Your Tears. The charity works with children aged up to 16 who have been living in abusive households where they became victims or witnesses of domestic violence.

There is also a certain amount of funds raised by the former young Mayor that the current one tries to top: “I’m currently exploring different routes so far, and how we can maximize fundraising for this year. The previous young mayor has raised more than £600, so I’m going to try and go above that. We like to try and leap over one another each year and how much gets raised for the charity that we choose. I am hoping to reach around £1000 for the year.”

Several more social projects exist that the Youth Council is currently planning to work on. Mr Mullin encourages people to get involved with the council’s activities and support them however they can because “being socially responsible is what stands behind every stable community.”

For more information on the Youth Council of Salford and their work, visit their website here.

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