Animation degree student’s powerful knife crime prevention video
A video created by Northern School of Art Animation degree student Ell Hockney is being featured as part of a knife crime prevention campaign recently launched by Cleveland Police to raise awareness of the dangers associated with carrying knives or blades.
Ell’s animation is the central part of the campaign which is called ‘Carrying a Blade Doesn’t Give You an Edge’ and is aimed at 11 to 24 year-olds.
The video tells the story of a teenager who got involved in knife crime, but has now managed to turn his life around.
Speaking to The Northern Echo at the launch of the campaign Ell said: “It has been quite rewarding to see the effect it has had and it is nice that it has been received well.”
They explained: “Hearing the story of the young person, Callum, who was affected was quite moving. The original recording was about five minutes in length and I had to make the difficult decision about what went in it and what was left out of it. In the end I had to decide what would resonate best with people and what was most important.”
A key part of the Cleveland Police campaign is also to raise awareness of the help and support available to those young people who are scared or feel pressured to carry a knife or are scared of being hurt by a knife or other bladed weapon.
There have been 609 knife crimes so far this year (January 1 – August 31 2023). Of those, 186 victims have been under the ages of 25, and 153 knife crime suspects have been under the age of 25. Nationally, Cleveland Police is the second highest police area for levels of knife crime, after West Midlands.
Cleveland Police is working alongside its partners to implement a long-term plan aimed at reducing knife crime. It uses data and analysis to ensure that its proactive patrols are in the right place at the right time, to target violent crime, as well as education and engagement sessions in schools and colleges across Cleveland aimed at preventing youths from becoming involved in knife crime by demonstrating the serious repercussions of carrying a blade.
Chief Inspector Stu Hodgson, the force lead on knife crime, said: “Unfortunately, incidents of knife crime on Teesside are increasing, along with the number of young people getting hurt or caught carrying knives and other bladed articles.
“We want young people to stop and think about how they would feel if they seriously hurt or even killed someone. It is a myth that carrying a knife or blade provides you with protection – the reality is that it makes you more susceptible to harm.
“Children and young people should be aware of the stark consequences of carrying a knife, but need to also know that we have officers who can, and want to, help them. Being arrested for carrying a knife doesn’t mean that this is the life you now have to follow. Things could have turned out very differently for Callum had he not engaged with us and accepted our help and intervention when he did. I want others to feel that they can come forward and accept help.”
Barney Green, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at James Cook University Hospital, added: “This campaign is a fantastic opportunity to bring a focus on a major issue we have here in Teesside, but also delivers a positive note that we can make it better.
“I think a campaign like this will help shape individuals’ thoughts who, in turn, will come together with other like-minded people to help create a movement that will change our culture.”
For further information about the Cleveland Police campaign visit https://www.cleveland.police.uk/police-forces/cleveland-police/areas/cleveland-police/campaigns/noedge/