Anti-knife campaign launched by families and government
Teenagers are urged to sign up to a group on Facebook
An online campaign to tackle knife crime among young people has been launched by a charity representing families of victims and the government.The campaign, called Count Me In: Together We Can Stop Knife Crime, urges teenagers to join a group on Facebook or on the Families United website.
It has been backed by the mother of murdered Harry Potter actor Rob Knox.
Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said the "power" of the campaign came from the "direct involvement" of families.
Primary schools in knife-crime hotspots are also being given information to help teachers tell children about the dangers.
'Make a difference'
Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined relatives of murder victims at Lilian Baylis Technology School in Kennington, south London, to launch the campaign.
Together with the other families who have suffered similar tragedies and the government we can make a difference to the future of young people on our streets
Mother of knife victim
"I believe young people want to see an end to knife crime, just as we all do, and I believe the power to make that happen is as much in their hands as it is ours.
"So this week we're asking them to sign the pledge and say 'Count Me In' to a world without knife crime," he said.
Sally Knox, whose 18-year-old son was stabbed outside a bar in Sidcup, south-east London, in May 2008, said she did not want her son to "have died in vain".
"I truly believe that we need to get into schools and educate young people about street violence and respect.
Rob Knox, (right), was trying to protect his brother when he was stabbed
Barry Mizen, whose 16-year-old son Jimmy was murdered in a south London bakery in 2008, said the campaign was a chance for young people to "be part of the solution" and "add their voice, and display in a tangible way, their desires to bring improvements to communities".
Actress Brooke Kinsella, 26, whose brother Ben was stabbed to death in 2008, said she would visit schools in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Nottingham as part of the campaign.
She said: "[My brother] has made his mark and if his story can make even one kid think twice about picking up a weapon then that is good enough for us."
The websites contain advice, information about support and testimonies from families and communities affected by knife crime.
All schools will be able to access them online, while information will also be distributed to almost 300,000 primary school pupils in the areas most affected by knife crime.