Anti-knife photo shoot proves its realistic edge
People passing offer help at cadets’ staged stabbing scene
POLICE cadets have told how a concerned passersby stopped to offer first aid during their photo shoot to create hard-hitting posters for their new knife crime campaign.
A team of young volunteers are urging fellow youths to pledge their support online to stop the stabbings which have claimed so many lives across London.
The cadets hope their message to ditch weapons will hit home with young people as it comes directly from their peers rather than from police officers or other authority figures.
The #ChooseaLife NotaKnife campaign was launched by the Specialist Crimes and Operations Youth Council, a group of about 16 cadets from across Hillingdon who are aged 15 to 19.
They produced their own posters to go on display at every school in London and have set up a website where people of all ages can pledge to help end knife crime.
The photos for posters, in which the the cadets pose as stab victims, were taken on the streets close to the end of the Metropolitan line in Uxbridge.
Volunteer Police Cadet Victoria Sullivan said the staging was so convincing a number of people stopped to help the “victim”, one of whom had a first aid kit.
She said she and her fellow cadets thought it was time young people themselves did something to reduce knife crime, and the best way to do that was via an online campaign.
“Most of us know people who’ve been affected by knife crime, whether it’s someone who’s been robbed at knifepoint or someone who has carried a knife because they thought it would protect them,” she said.
“We decided more had to be done to get the message across that by carrying a knife you’re putting yourself and others in greater danger.
“We wanted people our age to relate to the message, so it had to come from us and it had to be online,” she said.”
Members of the youth council recently gathered at a park in Hounslow in memory of Jamil Palmer, who was stabbed to death there two years ago, aged 18.
The campaign inviting people to pledge their support to end knife crime in London is aimed at people aged 13 to 18 but open to those of all ages.
Anyone signing up can choose from six statements, which include one for teenagers and others for parents and for victims of knife crime.
You can make a pledge at the #ChooseaLife NotaKnife page.
n KNIFE CRIME MESSAGE: Police cadets took photos in Uxbridge for their campaign posters, with some passers by stopping to offer help to ‘the victim’