THE family of a murdered young Buckley man has urged the public to help force a government debate about knife crime.

Earlier this year, the Leader reported on the jailing of Buckley man Jamie Mitchell, for the murder of 23-year-old Steven Wilkinson in the town.

Mitchell had chased his victim into an alleyway and stabbed him, leaving him fatally wounded after piercing his heart and lung.

A newly launched petition is calling on the Government to create a dedicated Minister for Knife Crime Prevention, to "demonstrate that the Government recognises the severity of the issue and is committed to tackling it."

The petition (which can be seen and signed here) has been launched by Edwin Duggan, on behalf of Steven Wilkinson's family as part of a campaign named "Wilko's Debate."

Mr Duggan was the driving force behind the recent "Jade's Law" campaign calling for a change in the law after the murder of Shotton mum Jade Ward.

Speaking on behalf of Steven Wilkinson's family, he said: "We remember the tragic murder of 23-year-old Steven Wilkinson, “Wilko”, from Buckley - an innocent young life cut short by a senseless act of violence.

"Ste's death serves as a painful reminder that no community is immune to the devastating consequences of knife crime."

READ MORESteven Wilkinson's family vow to fight knife crime

Mr Duggan confirmed Ste's family approached him to be the spokesman for the campaign as at the present time, they are still coming to terms with their loss.

He continued: "Ste’s mum Lisa told me the campaign should go ahead as she, and indeed the whole family, realise the impact that knife crime in the UK is at critical levels.

"There should be a debate in the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity."

Lisa Wilkinson said: "If the creation of a dedicated Minister for Knife Crime Prevention only saves one life, it will be worth it.  

"No one should have to go through what we have in the future."

The Leader: Edwin DugganEdwin Duggan (Image: Edwin Duggan)

Mr Duggan added: "Wilko's life was filled with promise and potential, but it was tragically extinguished by a single, fateful encounter.   

"His untimely death shook our community to its core and left a lasting impact on his family, friends, and all who knew him.

"We must honour Ste's memory by turning this tragedy into a catalyst for change, ensuring that no other family experiences the heart-wrenching pain that his loved ones endure.

"As we discuss solutions to address knife crime, let us not forget Ste Wilkinson and the countless others whose lives have been needlessly taken.  

"Their memories should serve as a constant reminder of the urgency and gravity of this issue. By honouring their legacies, we renew our commitment to taking meaningful action and seeking justice for those affected. 

"Together, we can build a society that rejects violence and fosters a culture of empathy, understanding, and compassion."

READ MORE: Jamie Mitchell sentenced for murder of Steven Wilkinson in Buckley

Mr Duggan urged the public to get behind the campaign, concluding: "The petition that we [have launched] needs your support. 

"So go to the link provided and sign it. Share it with everyone you know, and tell them to do the same, then tell them to share with everyone they know.  

"We need 100,000 signatures to force the Government to debate in Parliament on the issue of the creation of a dedicated Minister for the Prevention of Knife Crime in the UK.  

"Let us honour Ste's memory and the memories of all those lost to knife crime by working together to eradicate this scourge from our communities once and for all."