Liam Payne has opened up about the terrifying moment he was robbed at knifepoint when he was just 12.

The former One Direction star is dismayed by the spiralling number of stabbings that have occurred across the UK in the past 12 months resulting in a large number of young people losing their lives in senseless attacks.

Liam, 25, has now recalled how he and his friend were threatened by a man wielding a knife when he was at high school, admitting he felt lucky to escape the incident, which occurred in Bilston, Wolverhampton in England, without being harmed.

In a Twitter conversation with the Birmingham Mail newspaper via the @birmingham_live account, he said: ''I was held at knifepoint by a man in Bilston when I was 12 and me and my friend were robbed. Luckily that was all that happened and me and my friend walked away with our lives not everyone is so lucky.

The 'Polaroid' singer - who was born in Wolverhampton - decided to take to Twitter to urge his 32.5 million followers to turn their backs on knives after discovering that there has been 99 stabbings in eight weeks in the Birmingham area.

Liam tweeted: ''Having a knife in your pocket doesn't make you any more of a person. It makes you a risk put it down and don't become a statistic. Find your power in other things that make you become more and greater than you ever thought you could be.''