PARENTS of murdered teenager Olly Stephens have called on parents to take their children’s phones away and slammed social media firms for not doing enough.

In a sit-down interview with the Chronicle, parents Stuart and Amanda Stephens demanded social media companies make accounts “traceable” and have backed the Online Harms Bill which seeks to introduce more accountability for tech companies which run social media sites.

They also spoke strongly about how young people should “put knives down” after a jury found that two teenagers stabbed their son to death in Bugs Bottom Fields in Emmer Green on January 3.

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When asked what advice he would give to other parents with children Olly’s age, Stuart said: “Take their phones off them and don’t give them back.”

“A few days before Olly died, I said to him it’s my job to protect you, you need to tell me what’s going on. I just couldn’t get it out of him. ‘Snitches get stitches’ is all he’d say."

Stuart went on the criticize social media, and the impact it can have on young people.

He said: “There needs to be traceability on accounts, it needs to be linked to a credit card or something so you can find out who’s using it.

“Some of the bile I’ve read is staggering."

Stuart and Amanda both threw their backing behind the Online Harms white paper, which seeks to introduce more accountability for tech companies which run social media sites.

“The Online Harms bill is a big thing," said Stuart. "It needs to be dealt with. Anyone who objects to that, you really have to question their morals because children are dying.”

Olly’s parents have also called for young people to stop carrying knives, and have asked youngsters to think twice before picking up a potentially lethal blade.

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Stuart said: “Just put them down. If you’re in a position where you need to carry a knife, you need to question what you’re doing.

“A lot of these kids are vulnerable, they’re scared, they act like the big man to fend off other people.

“There’s also a massive issue of kids being groomed and led down a path by older people, they want these kids to carry out tasks that they don’t want to get caught for. It is child abuse.”

Amanda added: “There needs to be more support around those children for when they do the right thing and hand over the knife, to look into why they were carrying it because they are vulnerable, and they need help to get onto the right track and move on.”

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On what advice Amanda would give to other parents, she said: “Keep asking questions, be suspicious, try not to be put off.

“You get batted away by your children, when you ask questions you don’t get answers. Just keep going.

“Trust your gut reactions as well. If you don’t like the sound of friends, there probably is a very good reason.

“It’s very hard because we can look back and say, as parents, we did our best job, loved him to bits and always tried to be there for him and talk to him.”