Murder sparks crackdown on knife crime

GREATER Manchester Police responded to the murder of Dylan Keelan by launching a force-wide escalation of stop and search, including Tameside.

The death of the 20-year-old in Dukinfield was the third fatal stabbing in consecutive weekends.

Now the borough is part of a crackdown on the issue of knife crime, with officers given increased powers to stop and search anyone they think may be in possession of a sharp or bladed object.

Other areas under the enhanced Section 60 powers include Manchester city centre, central Stockport, Rochdale and the Failsworth and Limeside areas of Oldham.

GMP Gold Commander, Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry, said: “We don’t make these decisions lightly but we do so to prevent serious violence and the use of weapons, ultimately to keep people safe.

“Following the fatal stabbing in Tameside, we identified hot spots across Greater Manchester and are communicating with colleagues in those areas to increase resources.

“Members of the public can expect to see extra uniformed officers in some communities – exercising their powers under Section 60, whilst reassuring anyone who is concerned and deterring criminal behaviour.

“I hope this news strongly reiterates that Greater Manchester Police will not tolerate people carrying knives or any other weapons for that matter and acts as a reminder that it can result in a prison sentence and lifelong criminal record.”

GMP’s move was backed by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who said: “My thoughts, and the thoughts of people across Greater Manchester are with the families and communities affected by violence and knife crime.

“We will only end youth violence by tackling its causes, that’s why through our Violence Reduction Unit we’re working with schools, grass roots community organisations, young people themselves and the police to put in place programmes of support and action.

“The police cannot end youth violence alone but they have a critical role to play in taking immediate action where they have intelligence that people are carrying knives and other weapons.

“That’s why I have agreed with the Chief Constable that GMP would step up their proactive approach in hotspot areas to keep young people safe.”

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