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Working in partnership to make Essex knife free

Essex Police, the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex and the Ben Kinsella Trust are teaming up to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife by launching a new competition for Essex secondary school children.

There are 15 knife disposal bins across Southend, Essex and Thurrock and they need a revamp. The bins are very effective at collecting thousands of knives each year, removing them from our streets, homes and communities. Carrying a knife will never protect you, in fact it increases the likelihood that you might be stabbed. Every time someone places a knife in a knife bin, they are making a positive decision to live knife free, keeping themselves and those around them safe.

We are inviting young people of secondary school age to design a positive anti-knife poster. Three winning designs, one from each authority will be chosen to replace the existing knife bin livery. The picture, along with the first name and age of the artist and the school (if appropriate), will be printed on each of the bins within the authority’s area.

We hope that secondary schools also use this as an opportunity to run a lesson, assembly or tutorial on knife crime awareness. The Ben Kinsella Trust has lesson plans and resources tailored to Key Stage 3 and 4 available to download for free on their website.

The Ben Kinsella Trust was founded following the tragic death of Ben Kinsella. Ben was just 16 years old when he was stabbed to death in an unprovoked act of senseless violence on 29th June 2008.

As one of the leading anti-knife charities in the UK, the Ben Kinsella Trust campaigns for action and justice for those affected by knife crime and educates young people so that they can make positive choices to stay safe. It’s award-winning Choices and Consequences exhibitions has been visited by over 20,000 school children since it opened in 2011.

To help with this awareness raising, the Trust would like to invite headteachers (or a representative from the school) from schools taking part in the competition to a free viewing of the Ben Kinsella Trust Choices and Consequences Exhibition based in Barking.

The award-winning experiential exhibition follows the journey of Ben. Through his legacy it helps young people understand how choices and consequences are intrinsically linked. The exhibition changes young people’s attitudes to knife crime; debunking the myth that carrying a knife will protect you.

The viewing lasts two hours (schools can choose either 1pm Tuesday 1 March or 10.30am Wednesday 16 March) and includes a full guided tour of the exhibition, following the journey of both the victim and offender and seeing how the immersive and experiential approach helps young people to understand the consequences of the decisions they make. To register interest email [email protected]

The knife bin design competition is open to all secondary school pupils. Competition entries need to be uploaded to the entry form at by 5pm Friday 1 April. The winning designs will be chosen by Roger Hirst, PFCC for Essex, Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington, Brooke Kinsella from the Ben Kinsella Trust and their celebrity patron EastEnders Actress Louisa Lytton.

The three winners will be notified by the end of April.

Read the competition terms and conditions.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police

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