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Pupils to be given anti-knife crime lessons before holidays

ANTI-KNIFE CRIME: It's hoped the lessons will stop another spike in youth violence over the holidays

SCHOOLS IN England are to give pupils anti-knife crime lessons in a bid to reduce the risk of violent youth crime over the summer holidays.

As the end of term approaches, there are fears that there could be another spike in violent youth crime.

Conservative MP and Home Office minister Victoria Atkins said young people need to be protected from the “rise in serious violence”.

Atkins said: "The summer holidays can pose additional dangers to young people, which is why we are determined to do everything we can to keep them safe and give them the tools and resilience they need to enjoy the summer break.”

The one-hour lessons will be for pupils aged 11 to 16 and will focus on educating children that it is a “myth” they are safer carrying a knife.

Students will also be told how carrying a knife could ruin their future, given advice on how to resist peer pressure and warned about the dangers of social media – which has been seen to exacerbate feuds between young people.

The Home Office will provide schools with the information for the lessons that will be taught through personal, health and social education classes. Teachers will be informed on the meaning of knife crime related slang such as “shank” and “tool”.

It is the first time the government has rolled out the programme, which will cost £1 million.

Last month, the chief constable of West Midlands Police, David Thompson, wrote to every school in the region and urged teachers to speak to pupils about knife crime.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that knife crime increased by 22% last year in England and Wales.

Since the start of the year, at least 51 people have been fatally stabbed in London.

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