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Hard-hitting films aim to help tackle knife crime

Published on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A SERIES of hard-hitting films has been created to help educate local young people about the dangers of knife crime.

The films, called A Slice of Reality, show the impact of knife crime not just on victims and perpetrators but also on friends, family and the wider community.

The over-riding message, which is highlighted at the end of each of the films, is that “knife crime is everyone’s business. We all have blood on our hands.”

The films star young people who go along to sessions run by Leicester City Council’s youth service. They were made by local film-maker Keith Allot, of Badshoes Films.

Funding for the project was provided by the office for the police and crime commissioner.

One of the films, called Aftermath, shows young people discussing a friend who died as a result of a stabbing.

Another, Rage, shows how easily situations can escalate and how dangerous this can be if young people are carrying knives.

The films make important points about knife crime that young people might not know – for example, that by carrying a knife yourself you are actually much more likely to get stabbed, as situations involving weapons can quickly get out of control.

Deputy city mayor with responsibility for young people Cllr Sarah Russell said: “These hard-hitting films are a particularly effective way of getting the message across because they’ve been created and acted out by local young people, who know the issues that need addressing and the best ways of communicating them.

“Knife crime is something we need to discuss openly and seriously with young people. It’s vital that we do everything we can to tackle this blight on our society and show young people the terrible consequences that can result from carrying a weapon.”

Leicestershire’s police and crime commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, said: “These films send a clear message to young people that knives can kill, maim and take them to prison. With a bit of luck, they will persuade people that carrying a knife is more likely to land them in trouble than keep them out of it. 

“I want to see a change in the attitudes and behaviour with regards to knives. If these films stop just one person from carrying a knife as routinely as they carry their mobile phone then they are doing their job.”

The films will now be shown at city youth centres, schools and children’s homes as part of a wider programme of preventative work.

Young people will take part in group work in which they’ll be asked to define ‘what is knife crime?’ and what they think the law says.

They’ll then watch the films and answer questions about them, such as ‘who was at fault in that film?’ and ‘what would you do differently in that situation?’

As well as examining knife crime, the programme will work with young people to understand issues such as gang culture, safety, decision-making, peer pressure and bullying.

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