SCHOOLS in Kirklees are to be given copies of a hard-hitting film about guns and knives on the street.

Teachers will be urged to screen the film for pupils in a bid to stem violent crime.

The move was revealed today as new figures showed that 744 violent crimes were committed by under-20s in Kirklees last year.

Officials admitted there had been a rise over the last three years, adding that many incidents were not reported.

But Richard Smith, of Kirklees Youth Offending Team, said: "While not seeking to minimise the impact that such crimes have on victims, most of the incidents are, fortunately, not at the most serious end of the spectrum.

"But we need to address real concerns about violence within society and our community.

"Lives are ruined by needless acts of violence, often fuelled by alcohol and a misguided view about being macho played out constantly in the media and on computer games."

Mr Smith was speaking as a conference got under way in Huddersfield today to debate ways of tackling the gang culture.

West Yorkshire Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn was among the speakers at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top.

The talks were being held on the day after Prime Minister Tony Blair unveiled plans for under-18s to be banned from buying knives and replica guns.

Delegates at today's conference were getting a screening of the film which will go to schools.

Award-winning Navdeep Singh Kandola, from Mirfield, has made the film.

He said: "It depicts how much weapons harm people and their communities and looks at the long-term effects."

One in four boys aged 16 carry a knife, according to Home Office figures published last week.

Clr Ann Raistrick, chairman of the council-backed Kirklees Safer Communities Partnership, said: "We all need to fully understand the reality and impact on young people and the wider community that knives, guns and violent crime have.

"Young people themselves are more often than not the victims, so we need to listen to what they are telling us and learn from this," she added.