A CAMPAIGN launched by police and communities groups will offer sport, music and theatre activities to youths with the aim of keeping them away from knife crime.

This week Merseyside Police announced the launch of #BladeFree, an initiative where youth groups work together to offer fun activities for youths in the borough to attend.

This comes after numerous reports of youths using knives last year, including a boy being stabbed near Sherdley Park in November.

Feedback from communities highlighted that young people feel lack of opportunity elsewhere is one of the causes.

With that in mind the police partnered with youth groups, including Saints Training Academy, to offer training activities to inspire youths to say no to knives and focus on their futures.

Assistance Chief Constable, Jon Roy, said: “This is something we’re doing across Merseyside and it’s right that we put St Helens in that as well.

“Merseyside Police have put a huge emphasis on combating knife crime and we have had feedback from various groups and people in St Helens to say an issue surrounding this is the fact youths have a lack of things to do do.

“So we have worked together to look for community groups and classes from creative to sports to offer a range of activities in our portfolio with the aim to provide them with fun things to keep them entertained, learn from and also have the benefit of keeping them out of trouble on the streets.

“We have had excellent feedback on this so far, people want there do be something for young people to not only learn from but that they enjoy and the best way to do that is to have a range of activities to suit all. I would urge parents to come along and see what is on offer, know where your children are and help them reach their potential, learn skills all while keeping away from the possibility of crime.”

Last week a launch event took place at Saints Training Ground at Cowley International College, which saw Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy lend her support to the campaign.

“What we want to show is that it’s down to choices and we want to them to make the choice with this to go Blade free.”

For more info go to ourmerseyside.org.