YOUNG people were warned about violent crime at a special event last night just a few streets from where a man was shot dead.
Police officers spoke to teenagers about the dangers of knives and guns at the Internet Learning Café at Thornton Lodge Road.
The meeting came four days after 28-year-old Jasem Asakerh was shot dead two streets away at Brook Street.
Youth worker Mumtaz Ali organised last night’s event.
He said: “We organised this some time ago, so it’s just coincidental that the shooting took place last week, but I think it emphasises the point that preventative measures are so important.”
Young people aged 11 to 16 from Thornton Lodge, Crosland Moor and Lockwood attended the meeting.
Pc Paul Jackson explained to the group that some young people who carry knives for “protection” end up having their weapons used against them.
He stressed that even a small knife could kill and that someone stabbed in the arm or leg could bleed to death before help arrived.
Pc Jackson also explained that police officers confronted by armed suspects could respond with truncheon, pepper spray, tazer gun or – in some cases – a firearm.
Pc Jackson showed the young people some of the knives which had been recovered from the streets of Huddersfield. He also displayed two BB guns, showing the young people how they can look like real firearms.
Finally Pc Jackson showed the group pictures of injuries to young people who had been stabbed.
He said: “Some young people have this glamorised view of gang culture so I wanted to show them the seriousness of carrying weapons. I hope they learned that knives, no matter how big or small, can kill people.”
Mr Ali said: “They saw what happens when people carry knives. They were really hard-hitting images which showed the young people the consequences of carrying knives.
“I think knives are readily available out there for young people. Our role is to get young people to think twice before using knives.”
Last night’s meeting in Thornton Lodge was not directly connected to the fatal shooting in Brook Street last week.
Pc Jackson said: “We have been working hard with young people and communities in the last 12 months to reduce knife crime.
“These weapons awareness classes have been taking place across Kirklees.
“It’s a way of breaking down boundaries because there are some people who are anti-police. These classes get young people interested and allow them to discuss the issue.”