THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester said he was shocked to learn of the death of a teenager in Altrincham over the weekend and called for more stop and search to address the issue of knife crime.

Andy Burnham, a father of three, said he felt direct sympathy for the parents of a 17-year-old, Yousef Ghaleb Makki, who died after being stabbed in Hale Barns on Saturday evening.

Mr Burnham said: "It was a real shock to wake up to the news yesterday. In truth you don't expect to hear that kind of news, particularly in these circumstances.

"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."

Police were called to Gorse Bank Road in Hale Barns at around 6.40pm on Saturday evening to a report of teenager being stabbed. Yousef, who attended Manchester Grammar School, was taken to hospital but later died.

Mr Burnham has called for tougher measures to combat knife crime across Greater Manchester and thinks communities, schools and parents have a job to do as well as the police.

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."

Greater Manchester residents have seen a rise in their council tax to pay for 320 new police officers. Mr Burnham says some of these officers will be put to work around public transport to tackle knife crime.

He said: "I think we do need more police.

"I'm not making that point in the party-political sense, I'm just saying there's a clear need for more police on the streets given level of challenges they're facing.

"We have made the decision as other areas have to ask the public here to pay the full amount were able to ask them to pay, to put more police officers on the streets, so we're going to recruit 320 on the back of that.

"I think more of those police should be be focused on public transport. Because public transport and stations and terminals are often the place where a lot of this can happen."

Mr Burnham said in a "matter of weeks" proposals on a serious violence plan would be put forward which would include plans to tackle knife crime.