Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany says young people need “the right amount of education and support at every level” to help prevent knife crime.
Seven people have been stabbed to death in England in the past week.
Yousef Makki, 17, was killed on Saturday in Hale Barns, Altrincham, near where Kompany lives.
“It shocks me but it doesn’t surprise me,” Kompany told BBC sports editor Dan Roan.
“Knife crime isn’t an issue that’s going to go away just because of repression and police action.
“Of course we need to support the forces but it’s linked to prevention and prevention often comes through education.”
Belgium centre-back Kompany, 32, said he had lost friends from the area of Brussels he grew up in because of knife crime.
“You have to look at the issue from a broader perspective and prevention is critical,” he added.
“It’s about whether we decide to take it seriously and go all the way in making sure that people have the right amount of education and support at every level to not be able to fall off the grid.
“And in falling off the grid I’m talking in terms of being a young guy on the street thinking that knife crime is OK as a lifestyle.”
‘We want to end homelessness in Manchester’
Kompany was speaking at an event for ‘Tackle4MCR’, which he set up with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham last year to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the region.
Manchester City have announced they will hold a testimonial match for Kompany on 11 September, with all proceeds going to ‘Tackle4MCR’.
“The goal, being bold about it, is to stop homelessness in Manchester,” said Kompany, who has captained to City to three Premier League titles since joining in 2008.
“I’ve been in this community for 11 years now – my wife Carla is from Manchester, the kids are Mancs, born and bred, so homelessness is not an issue we can shy away from.
“It’s something we should not accept – there are a lot of successful people and we have a responsibility to not just expect everything to come from the state but to be responsible for our share as well.
“It’s an issue that’s much more complex than I thought it was at first – you see people on the street as a result of the journey they’ve been on but to understand the causes is a lot more difficult.
“A lot of it is bad luck or just having the wrong things happen at the wrong time – it made me not want to be the guy who understands everything about this issue, but be the guy to help people understand more.”
‘FFP investigation is not for players to deal with’
On Thursday, Uefa announced it is investigating Manchester City for alleged financial fair play violations following a series of claims published by German news magazine Der Spiegel.
City deny any wrongdoing and said: “The accusation of financial irregularities is entirely false.”
Kompany said it was not an issue for players to deal with because they “have enough on our plate”.
“Football always prevails and that’s the key thing, by the time the weekend comes our fans will want us to win the game and play the football that we play,” he added.
‘Liverpool is a very serious competitor’
Defending champions City are currently top of the Premier League, one point in front of Liverpool with nine games left, having trailed their title rivals by seven points in January.
Kompany said his side have “a massive amount of respect for Liverpool” because they are an “intense” and “clinical” team, and that City could need to win all of their remaining matches to secure the title.
“None of us are getting complacent because we respect the fact that Liverpool is a very serious competitor,” he said.
Kompany added that caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had “brought back respectability” to rivals Manchester United “in a way that wouldn’t have been anticipated by many”.
“He’s not added to the right side of Manchester but he’s added to Manchester as a whole,” he added.
City’s next three matches are against Watford in the Premier League, Schalke in the Champions League last 16 and Swansea in the FA Cup quarter-final as they seek an unprecedented quadruple, having beaten Chelsea to win the Carabao Cup last month.
“It’s a defining week for us because we have three competitions to play for and everything hangs on these results,” said Kompany.
“The quadruple in not on our minds yet.”