Sheffield's '˜Mums United' group to fightÂ knife crime and gangs in Sharrow
A group of Sheffield mums have joined forces to make a stand against knife crime, gangs and anti-social behaviour in their community.
Mums United in Sharrow hope to stop young people getting involved in trouble by both engaging with children from an early age and empowering their mums to intervene.
Their first meeting Â - which took place today at the Madina Mosque on Wolseley Road - was also attended by Louise Haigh MP, a number of senior councillors and South Yorkshire Police.
Mums United vice chair, Amar Ilyas, said: 'This first event is to raise awareness and get the mothers together. We want to find out what their issues are, what they think and find out if they need any help.
'We are trying to prevent youngsters getting groomed into gangs and helping them to understand that it could lead to severe punishments.'
Amar said the group had already had help from Sheffield Wednesday who took a session with the children and from some teachers who did some English language work with the mums.
'We want the mothers to get more confident to speak to us,' he said.
'A lot of mothers will always want to protect their children but we want to break down those barriers.'
'They have also asked for CCTV to be fitted in the Landsdowne area where there has been drug dealing and have put a petition in the the council.'
One of those who had been asked to speak was Lib Dem group leader, Councillor Shafiq Muhammad.
He said: 'For some people Sheffield might be the safest city in the country but for many young people it is not.
'They might think that by carrying a knife it makes you safer but it actually put you in more danger.
'We want these mums to look for those tell tale signs in their children. Have they suddenly got lots of new friends or have they stopped seeing old friends?
'We have heard a lot about exploitation of young girls for sex but boys are also being exploited but with drugs.
'That destroys lives just like sexual exploitation does. They are vulnerable and lack a positive peer group. It becomes very difficult to pull them back out.'