UK teenagers 'paid £1,000 to stab each other' by gang members.

Gang members are offering teenagers up to £1,000 to stab other youngsters, according to reports.
Young people in Liverpool are reportedly being offered money to carry out attacks by “elders”, who want to avoid getting caught themselves. The claims, which were made by teenagers speaking to the BBC’s Beyond Today podcast, are said to be related to at least one recent stabbing in Merseyside. The youngsters, who spoke anonymously for fear of retaliation, said: “Young kids are getting money put on their heads.”One boy told the BBC podcast that his own best friend was targeted by a group. He ended up needing treatment in the hospital because of the attack, after which two teenagers split a £1,000 bounty. The youngster also said people would watch “straighteners” – an organised fight to settle disputes which sometimes involves knives. Children have long been used by older gang members to transport drugs and weapons for them. It is believed young people are lured in by these elders, who they see as having respect, money and cars. Knife crime reports rose by a third on Merseyside in 2018, when there were several fatal stabbings. These included 16-year-old Daniel Gee-Jamieson, who was stabbed to death during a pre-arranged “straightener” in Gateacre on 3 July last year. Teenager Brandon Regan, 17, was found also stabbed to death after an attack in Speke in January 2018. Neither of the teenagers had prices on their heads, however. In a statement to the BBC, Merseyside Police did not directly respond to the bounty claims made by the teenagers. However, the force said it was aware organised crime groups used violence to settle disputes. A spokesperson said gangs were known to exploit "young and vulnerable people to sell...drugs and even to use violence”.