Greater Manchester leaders and emergency services have joined forces to release a new campaign to prevent knife crime which has seen numerous people killed or seriously injured in Oldham in recent months.

In February this year, Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit released a short video to encourage young people, parents and teachers to speak out if they are concerned about a young person involved in crime.

The video, titled #SpeakingOutCouldSaveALife, has been seen by more than 500,000 people and featured local youth workers and a headteacher.

As part of the series, a new-hard hitting video has been launched by Greater Manchester leaders which features young people, emergency services, local leaders, actors and athletes, to keep up the momentum and encourage more people to come forward to the police.

The video also features those who have lived experiences of knife and violent crime, including Kelly Brown, the mother of Rhamero West who was stabbed to death in Old Trafford at the age of 16 in September 2021, and Matthew Norford, an ex-gang member and founder of 1message.

The footage shows how knife crime impacts individuals and communities, as well as the consequences of carrying or using a knife, and what to do if you feel at risk of violence or you are concerned about a young person.

The Oldham Times: Kelly Brown, whose son was stabbed to death in 2021, features in the video.Kelly Brown, whose son was stabbed to death in 2021, features in the video.

The crackdown on knife and violent crime by GMCA comes after a spate of deadly and near-fatal stabbings in Oldham.

In July, a man was treated for stab wounds on Milne Street which prompted a manhunt by GMP and a woman in her 50s was stabbed on Blanche Walk just four days later. 

A man, identified as Paulo Da Silva, died from multiple stab wounds upon arrival at the hospital on May 28 on Union Street.

Then the next day, another man was stabbed on Minton Street in Glodwick which saw police ramp up stop and search orders in the area for 24 hours.

Two cousins were also convicted and given life sentences in July for killing a Failsworth dad Ashley Walsh, in January this year.

The pair killed Mr Walsh with "repeated hammer blows" and "stab wounds to the chest" before dismembering his body into suitcases which were left in a park.

The new campaign has been backed by GM Mayor, Andy Burnham and deputy Mayor, Bev Hughes, alongside GMP, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), North West Ambulance Service, North West Air Ambulance and Greater Manchester Magistrates Association.

The Oldham Times: GM Mayor, Andy Burnham, said the crime is "entirely preventable".GM Mayor, Andy Burnham, said the crime is "entirely preventable".

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We see far too often the devastating consequences of knife crime and serious violence.

"The saddest part is that these tragic incidents are preventable.

“We need everyone’s help to end violence amongst young people."

He said teachers, parents, guardians, friends and family members can play a part in preventing knife crime by speaking out if they have concerns.

“It’s also important for anyone who is tempted to carry a knife to remember that doing so puts you at great risk, and there are serious consequences to this decision.”

The Oldham Times: Manchester's Top Team MMA, Kane Mousah, said it's down to friends to step in and speak up if their friend is carrying a knife.Manchester's Top Team MMA, Kane Mousah, said it's down to friends to step in and speak up if their friend is carrying a knife.

Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire, Bev Hughes, added: I hope everyone will join us in supporting this campaign which aims to encourage more people to step forward and report concerns they may have around knife crime or any other serious violence."

Ms Hughes said organisations across the region are working together to prevent crimes and keep the city-region safe.

She added: "But we can do so much more if more people report incidents or concerns they have.

"It could be someone you know – and the best way to help them is to speak out.”

Greater Manchester Police’s knife crime lead, Superintendent Caroline Hemingway, said everyone has a "part to play" in preventing knife crime and said the consequences of violence are "far-reaching".

She added: “GMP continues to actively target those involved in knife crime, as well as educating everyone on the dangers of carrying a knife in the hope that we will see a reduction in incidents.

"Hopefully this video will start a conversation that develops into an understanding of the potential dangers and changes people’s mindset around ‘needing to carry a knife’."

Ms Hemingway stressed that members of the public must continue to report intelligence to GMP to help the force "minimise the devastating impact it can have on our communities."

The Oldham Times: PC Charlie Crouch from GMP said speaking out could save a life.PC Charlie Crouch from GMP said speaking out could save a life.

Meanwhile, ​Matthew Norford, CEO of 1Message and ex-gang leader, said: “I am really pleased that I am able to use my life experiences to help other young people that might be in difficult situations or involved in serious violence.

“The message I want to get across to any young person that sees something that’s wrong, might be in trouble, or knows a friend that’s in trouble, is don’t be scared to speak out and ask for help.

"Parents, teachers, social workers and the police are all there to help you.

"If you see something, speak out about it, you could save a life.”