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Campaign launches to divert young people away from knife crime

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network says ‘Believe you can’ to young people.

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network has launched a new social media campaign to help reduce knife crime amongst young people.

Stories inspired by young people’s real life experiences are used in the campaign to show the consequences of knife crime and how making positive decisions can change a young person’s future and steer them away from knife crime involvement.

Joining a sports club, going to college, and pursuing a job or career idea can help steer a young person away from knife crime. The slogan ‘believe you can’ refers to all of these opportunities that exist for young people to get involved in and make positive contributions to their community and wider society.

The campaign is part of the wider Lancashire Serious Violence Strategy which was developed by Lancashire Violence Reduction Network and sets out a multi-agency approach to tackle root causes of knife and violent crime in our communities.

Knife crime incidents remain relatively low in Lancashire, accounting for 1% of all crimes in the county. Home Office funding has been secured for knife crime prevention including operational policing activity, community engagement work, and equipment including knife bins and metal detecting arches and wands.

Lancashire Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, Jo Edwards spoke about the campaign, “Tragically, we have seen the devastating consequences that knife crime can have on our communities. The Violence Reduction Network has provided a platform to bring partners together so that we can work closely with the people of Lancashire to understand the drivers behind serious violence.

“This campaign has been shaped with our neighbourhoods in mind and I hope that it will encourage individuals to believe they can stop, think and be confident to step away from knife crime and that the support is there to help them.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Clarke, Head of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network added, “Lancashire has fewer incidents of knife crime than other areas but let’s not be complacent. One incident is one too many. Our campaign works to help young people to make positive decisions that will steer them away from knife crime and prevent them from becoming the knife crime perpetrators and victims of the future.

“We have worked with young people to create the campaign and to provide examples of how others who have previously been involved in knife crime have been able to step away. Parents, teachers, youth workers and other trusted adults are all important influences which is why we urge them to talk to young people.

“If you’re a parent and you are concerned about your child please start the conversation. Talk to them about what’s happening in their lives and how you can help or find support for them. There are resources on the #knifefree website to help.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:

“Policing alone cannot prevent people offending and that is why the Violent Reduction Network bringing together partners across the county, and campaigns such as this, have a real part to play.

“I fully support the ‘public health’ approach to violent crime. We continue to lose too many young lives to knife crime and serious violence and it’s crucial that all parts of our society work together to tackle it head-on and make our communities safer, which is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

“It is only by working together across all parts of society and targeted interventions which support the work our officers do around the clock to keep us safe, that we will address this really important issue.”

The youth campaign is running on Instagram at: believe_you_can_lancashire

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