SHOCKING as the murder of Bolton teenager Reece Tansey is, it is even more troubling when you realise his dreadful death is not a one-off and he joins an increasingly lengthy list of children who have been killed by knives.

Often the murderers are other children and in the wake of concern about increasing levels of knife crime, the Ben Kinsella Trust was set up to campaign and educate youngsters about the dangers of carrying knives.

The organisation regularly runs workshops with young people and, when they are asked why they carry knives, the universal answer the youngsters give is for “protection”.

Since January 2009 the crime survey of England and Wales has been asking children about their experience of crime.

In the year ending March 2018 6.5 percent of 10 to 15-year-olds said they knew someone who carried a knife, as did 5.7 percent of 16 to 25-year-olds.

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However, statistics show that carrying a knife makes you more likely to be killed by one yourself.

In 1977 there were 135 homicides using sharp instruments such as knives and broken bottles but by the year ending March 2021 there were 221 cases.

Tragically, in the year ending March 2020, 23 children aged 17 and under were murdered with a knife or sharp object.

Patrick Green, chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust says that factors which lead children to carry knives are complex.

But as with Reece Tansey’s death, social media organisations play a role and should do more to help tackle the problem.

Reece, who was not armed, was goaded into meeting his attackers, who he did not know, via a lengthy exchange on Snapchat.

Mr Green said: “There are of course several reasons why knife crime is increasing, and one of those is the role that social media, and in particular, Snapchat plays in accelerating and escalating tensions between teenagers.

“As with Reece’s murder, the murder of Olly Stephens in Reading last year highlighted how Snapchat and social media posts led to a falling out which culminated in Olly’s murder.

“In 2018, 16-year-old Cemeren Yilmaz lay dying on a street in Bedford after being attacked with a knife and a hammer.

"His attackers, three of whom were only 15-years-old, posted a video of his murder on their Snapchat feeds.

“By simply ignoring the issues that exist on their platforms, social media companies and Snapchat have now become part of the problem, when in fact they should part of the solution.

"If action isn’t taken soon to hold these companies to account, then more young lives will be lost.”

Mr Green added that its was “heartbreaking” to read the words of Reece Tansey’s parents who described themselves as being “devastated beyond belief” by the murder of their son.

“Thirteen years ago, the Kinsella family expressed similar sentiments having lost Ben in an unprovoked knife attack in London.

“Since Ben’s murder, knife crime has continued to increase, with hundreds more families up and down the country having to endure the relentless pain and trauma of losing a child to this heinous crime.”

Reece was murdered in Bolton South East MP Yasmin Quershi’ constituency

She told the Bolton News that she shares Mr Green’s concerns about the prevalence of knife crime among young people.

“The Reece Tansey case should shock all of us,” she added.

“I know from my experience as a barrister for the CPS and now as a MP that their lives will never be the same again.

"That’s what makes those of us in positions of power more determined to make progress. In Bolton we must do more to tackle knife crime.

“Every young person deserves to grow up and fulfil their potential.”