Anti-knife photo shoot proves its re­al­is­tic edge

Peo­ple pass­ing of­fer help at cadets’ staged stab­bing scene

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Robert Cum­ber robert.cum­ber@trin­i­tymir­

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’

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