Knife crime campaign targets children

By staff

Children as young as ten years old are being targeted by the government’s latest anti-knife campaign.

The Home Office’s It Doesn’t Have to Happen campaign focuses on ten- to 16-year-olds by demonstrating the clear link between carrying a knife and a much greater risk of loss of life or freedom, or serious injury.

Following up research which shows young people respond best to advice from their peers, the government has persuaded a group of 15- to 20-year-olds from communities touched by knife crime to form a youth taskforce spreading the campaign’s message.

“I got involved with ‘It Doesn’t Have to Happen’ because I know that nobody can get through to young people better than other young people,” one taskforce member, Aron Jervis from east London, said.

“It’s only by working together that we can help put an end to knife crime.”

Two television and online adverts are being backed by bus-stop posters across England and Wales and the taskforce campaigners, who will work in cities including London, Leeds, Cardiff and Bristol.

Policing and crime minister David Hanson said: “More people are now going to prison for carrying weapons and sentences are longer than this time last year.

“Through this campaign we are sending out a clear message that people who break the law and continue to carry offensive weapons will face tough penalties.”