A Leeds mum whose son died after a knife attack in Harehills is to share her experiences in support of an awareness campaign.
Sarah Lloyd's 17-year-old son Kieran Butterworth was murdered during a knife attack in 2013.
She has been using her first-hand experience of the devastating consequences of knife crime to educate others about the issue since she launched a campaign last year.
Tomorrow she will give a presentation to young people at the ARK, in Hovingham Avenue, Harehills, at 6pm.
It is one of two events being held this weekend under the banner ‘Leeds Lives Not Knives’.
The other takes place earlier that day at the Compton Centre, where an event for young people in the local community will be held between 2pm and 4pm.
Leeds Inner East Neighbourhood Policing Team, partner agencies and youth organisations will offer a range of activities including a DJ, demonstrations and workshops by break dancing organisation Breakin’ Through Leeds, and freestyle football.
Young people at the event can also show their support for the campaign by symbolically walking through a “safety arch” that detects weapons in order to show they do not carry them.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “We have sadly seen a number of incidents across our communities in Leeds over the years where the tragic consequences of young people carrying and using knives has been very starkly illustrated.
“It is often a double tragedy that sees one family having to come to terms with the death of a young person who had their whole life ahead of them and another young person facing a future in prison.
“Leeds is fortunate in that we do not see knife crime of the scale and type that some other cities do, but even one incident is one too many and we have to recognise that there is a problem. Getting the prevention message across to young people through schools and other partner agencies has to remain a vital part of our ongoing work to tackle the issue.
“Community events like these provide a really important opportunity to reach young people and encourage them to be active voices in educating and warning others about the very serious dangers and risks that carrying a knife can create.”
Coun Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, added: “I am really looking forward to meeting with young people who are standing up to knife crime at Saturday’s event and promoting the message of Leeds Lives Not Knives.
“Community events such as this one are crucial in providing young people with the chance to find out about the serious dangers and risks of knife crime. It is important to get this message out to young people as part of our ongoing work to tackle this issue.”