Former One Direction star Liam Payne has said he was lucky to survive being robbed at knifepoint when he was 12.
The singer, 25, told the Daily Mirror he was lured to a remote spot in a town near Wolverhampton and threatened with a “massive hunting knife”.
Payne and his friend handed over the contents of their wallets before running away, he told the newspaper.
He said: “It was one of the scariest things I’ve been through.
“I was lucky, but so many aren’t… Something needs to be done. We’ve reached unprecedented levels of people losing their lives.”
Amid a knife crime epidemic sweeping the UK, Payne, who shot to fame after appearing on the X Factor with the boy band One Direction, is urging young people not to carry weapons.
He said: “You pick up that blade and it’s the biggest risk you are taking in your life.”
The pop star has called on the Government to act, suggesting the appointment of a “knife crime tsar” who can work with schools and police forces.
Payne, who has a one-year-old son, Bear, with pop star Cheryl, said becoming a father inspired him to intervene.
Payne’s comments come amid heightened fears of violent crime in the UK following several fatal stabbings, many involving young people, around the country.