THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester has said not enough has been done to address the links between social media and knife crime.

Nine years ago a teenager from Bolton was stabbed and killed after a row on social media spilled over into the streets.

This year the home secretary, Sajid Javid, announced plans for knife crime prevention orders, some of which would curb social media use for children as young as 12.

The approach is supported by Paul Turner, the father of 17-year-old Cody, who was stabbed in Tonge Moor Road.

READ MORE: Growing menace of knife crime on streets as father issues stark warning

Speaking after 17-year-old Yousef Makki was stabbed and killed in Altrincham on Saturday, GM Mayor Andy Burnham said: “I don’t think enough has been done with respect to social media — it has beneficial impacts — but some of the damaging side of what it can do.

“I think the thing is here, going back to when people of my generation were growing up, if things happened there was cooling off because people would go home and the temperature would be lowered.

“Whereas now if something happens social media can keep stoking up the sense of row and the sense of danger and threat maybe.

“We do have to wonder whether or not that is playing a role.

“The home secretary is right I think to ask that question and just generally we need to see a more front-foot proactive approach from social media companies when it comes to protecting young people, be that from self harm or from violence amongst each other.”

The Bolton News:

Mr Burnham has also called for toughing police powers to tackle knife crime in Greater Manchester and said parents also had a role to play.

He said: “I don’t think we have a problem on the same scale as London, but I don’t want anyone to feel we would be complacent about it because it is an issue here and something that we need to challenge ourselves about and to see if we need to do more.

“We are challenging ourselves on it and its not just GMP its a multi-agency thing working with communities, schools and the police as well.”

He advocated police stop and search tactics as long as they were “evidence driven”.

Mr Burnham said: “I think there is a case for more stop and search — I know that’s controversial for some — but I think the point is this isn’t targeted. This needs to be more broad and I think it needs to be used carefully but, if police officers have a reasonable suspicion that somebody is carrying a knife I think most of the public would say it’s right then to challenge that individual, as long as it isn’t driven by stereotypes or as long as its evidence driven.”

Mr Burnham, a father of three, said: “It was a real shock to wake up to the news yesterday [that Yousef had been killed]. In truth you don’t expect to hear that kind of news.

“You feel sympathy directly for Yousef’s parents and I will be making contact with them today to offer any support that we can provide.

“It makes you feel concerned about your own kids but perhaps as well, we all as parents, need to challenge ourselves a little more.

“Do we all know when our kids are going out? Where they’re going? Who they’re meeting? What they’re carrying? And it does start, a lot of this, in the home.”