Youth group's video puts knife crime in focus - watch it here
Young people in Walsall battling to raise awareness of the devastating effects of knife crime have united to educate their peers.
Members of Youth of Walsall have come together to craft a new video revealing how knife crime can impact families.
It comes after campaigners met the mother of a Birmingham rapper who was stabbed to death five years ago.
Member Joe Holdsworth said: “When we started thinking about our campaign, we thought about some of the consequences of picking up a knife.
Watch the video here:
“When people carry knives they don’t think about the aftermath. The main message is to highlight how such a simple, easy, huge mistake can have such massive repercussions.
"We’re hoping that our film, not showing blood or gore, just showing people, will persuade young people to think twice about carrying knives.”
Mr Holdsworth and friends from Youth of Walsall - the town's youth cabinet group for people aged between 11 to 18 - have created a video dubbed 'Real Knives, Real Lives'.
They got together with initiative Fixers to put the film together before launching it at Birmingham's Youth Police and Crime Commissioners Summit on December 11.
It comes after the group met anti-knife campaigner Alison Cope, whose son Joshua Ribera was stabbed to death at a party.
The 18-year-old, better known by stage name Depzman, was wounded by Armani Mitchel in the car park of Selly Oak nightclub TC’s.
Mr Holdsworth, 20, said: “You know – this happens, that happens, you get charged, you go to jail, that kind of thing. And then, when we had a talk with Alison Cope, she put a different spin on it.
“She didn’t talk about knives or the crime. She just spoke about her son and it was really good to put a face to the statistics.
"None of us have been through a knife crime but hearing her story still had a huge impact on us.”
The video tells the tale of a young man pressured by his peers to carry a knife and the heart-breaking grief his father feels after he is killed.
Mr Holdsworth said that last year he helped organise a vote to uncover what young people thought were the challenges facing Walsall - with knife crime becoming a key issue.
He added: “One of the things we heard was 'Oh - I took a knife to school because I wanted to feel safer'.
"But the fact is if you take a knife to school, you’re more at risk of being stabbed.”
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