AFTER a spate of stabbings in Bury, the government’s minister for policing has given his thoughts on how to tackle knife crime.

Kit Malthouse visited Bury on Wednesday in a show of support for Greater Manchester Police (GMP), as well as to discuss problems facing the public and the force.

Following recent incidents in Bury town centre, including the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Abdikarim Abdalla Ahmed on Market Street on Friday, March 11, the surge of knife crime is an understandable concern for locals.

Bury Times:

Abdikarim Abdalla Ahmed 

Mother pays heartfelt tribute to her 'beautiful boy'

In the early hours on Sunday, March 27, a 24-year-old man was stabbed after a "disturbance" on Bolton Street, in what was described as a "20-man brawl".

Greater Manchester Police make arrests after Bury stabbing

Bury Times:

Bolton Street in Bury cordoned off on Sunday, March 27 after the stabbing

There was also a reported stabbing last week, shortly before 1am on Friday, April 1, near to Haymarket Street.

“The rise in stabbings across the whole of England and Wales, but in cities like Manchester in particular, has been very alarming,” Mr Malthouse said.

He added: “I’ve been involved in fighting crime now for over a decade and sadly during that time I’ve spent too much time with the parents of dead children.

“It’s devastating for them but also for the wider community so I totally recognise their distress and very often their strong desire that the crime that was perpetrated against them should not be perpetrated against anybody else.

Bury Times: Kit Malthouse pictured with members of a neighbourhood watch on his visit to Bury and BoltonKit Malthouse pictured with members of a neighbourhood watch on his visit to Bury and Bolton

“That’s why we are putting in place this assertive twin-track approach. Strong enforcement through the police.

"Making sure they use stop and search. Getting more cops out there on the street.

“As well as that, longer term work through the violence reduction unit to make sure that young people don’t get involved in violence in the first place.”

Mr Malthouse said that Greater Manchester has had “over 580 new cops over the last couple of years and there’s more to come this year.”

He also took the opportunity to announce that GMP were getting a funding boost to tackle these exact types of crime.

“We’ve awarded getting on for six million quid to the Manchester VRU today,” he said, “and I hope Mancunians will feel it across the whole of the area.”

“It will take time to turn the tanker. Hopefully the signs are already there, but in the months and years to come you can be sure of our commitment to that cause.”

Upon questions about the trust the public have in police, particularly since GMP are currently in special measures, Mr Malthouse said: “The fight against all crime involves – always – more than the police.

“Solving crime and fighting crime is all of our jobs, and if we can stand shoulder to shoulder with the police as the primary tool we’ve got, then I think we’ll all be safer.”