Educating young people about the dangers of knife crime
Delegates at the recent Essex PFCC Partnership conference, at Colchester Jobserve Community Stadium, were able to learn more about the Knife Harm Campaign, run by the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU).
The aim of the campaign – which attracted 43,000 unique clicks on the films – was to get parents talking to their children early about the dangers of carrying a knife.
Once they had watched the films, they were urged to click through to the VVU website where they were given information on how to talk to their children about knife crime, resources available for young people, where to go if worried about knives and the law around carrying knives.
With the shocking fact that seven out of ten stabbing victims are attacked with their own knife, the police, parents and schools are coming together to inform children about the dangers of carrying knives.
As part of the Knife Harm Campaign, the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU) found that 69% of parents in the county are concerned about knife crime, with two thirds of parents worried about their child becoming a victim of knife crime.
As a result, four short films were produced, using actors to share the experiences of young people who have been arrested for carrying a knife.
PFCC for Essex Roger Hirst said: “Raising awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife and helping our young people to live safer lives is vitally important. Too many lives are ruined by carrying a knife and through education and engagement we are successfully reducing the level of violence in our communities and the number of people suffering knife wounds.”
Katie Canning, communications lead for the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit, said: “We ran the Knife Harm Campaign on social media in April and May with the call to action to parents to talk to their children about knife crime. We carried out our research on the streets of Essex beforehand and then again after the films aired to see if attitudes had changed. Knife crime is still up there as parents’ top concern.
“It is the first time we have run a campaign aimed at parents and it has been really well received.
“It is exciting that we have created a campaign responding to a need that is out there. Parents are telling us they are concerned about knife crime, so we are creating resources to make them feel more confident when talking about the issue.
“We are now looking at the lessons learnt and planning what to do next. We are drawing up lesson plans to target young people in schools.”
You can learn more about knife crime prevention and watch the films here