THE Oldham Times has linked up with The Student View, a media literacy charity engaging young people through journalism.

Volunteers from the charity have been working in Oldham schools and across the country to help pupils tackled the issues they care about most - from poor bus services to knife crime and drugs.

The pupils set the agenda, and then work in collaboration with professional journalists to turn their personal experiences into something of which their communities can be proud: quality local journalism.

The identities of the students involved and their schools have been disguised for safeguarding reasons.

Find out more about The Student View at

By Danyaal, 17, and Sydney, 14, Oldham:

DRUG crime charges against young people have dropped by 67 per cent in the Manchester city region since 2013, Freedom of Information data shows.

Since 2013, young people have committed 4,439 drug crimes resulting in a criminal charge in Greater Manchester.

Some 3,744 drug crimes were committed by 18 to 24-year-olds, with the number of offences charged dropping by 70 per cent since 2013, from 987 to 298 in 2018.

The number of children being charged with drug crimes in Manchester has dropped by 55 per cent since 2014, from 159 crimes to 71 crimes in 2018.

Across Manchester, children aged 17 and under have been charged with 695 drug crimes since 2013, with another 760 offences resulting in youth cautions. The number of youth cautions issued has dropped from 244 in 2013 to 46 in 2018, a decline of 81 per cent.

In Oldham, children aged 17 and under have been charged 65 times for drug offences since 2013, while another 63 received youth cautions. Another 37 were subject to restorative justice programmes.

A similar story plays out with 18 to 24-year-olds in Oldham: 359 crimes resulted in drug crime charges between 2013 and 2018. There were just 16 in 2018, a drop of 81 per cent since 2013, when 84 offences resulted in charges. Meanwhile, 366 crimes resulted in cannabis warnings over the same period, 2013 to 2018.

Across Manchester, increasing numbers of child suspects are no longer being prosecuted as the police decide formal action or further investigation is “not in the public interest”.

Since 2013, there have been 152 cases of formal action not being taken and 238 cases of further investigation not being taken, both on public interest grounds. 103 and 107 cases of further investigation being dropped have occurred in 2017 and 2018 respectively, compared to zero in 2013 and just two each in 2014 and 2015.

Danyaal, 17, and Sydney, 14, from Oldham, said: “This story is important to us because these drugs are poisoning our society and our young peers are taking these drugs unaware that this will later destroy them physically and mentally.”