Home Office adverts aim to deter youngsters from carrying knives

Ministers have launched a new advertising campaign as part of efforts to tackle knife crime.

The Home Office drive uses real-life stories to urge youngsters not to carry blades.

The ads feature case studies who have turned their lives around after being affected by knife crime.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "The emotional stories at the heart of the new Knife Free campaign bring home in powerful fashion just what a far-reaching impact it can have on a young person's life if they make the misguided decision to carry a knife.

"I hope any young person who is seriously thinking about carrying a knife listens to what the implications can be and realises what options are available if they choose to live knife-free."

The £1.35 million campaign will use advertising on social media and digital channels to target 10-21 year olds who use these platforms.

Posters will also be on display in English cities where knife crime is more prevalent.

Offences recorded by police involving a knife or sharp instrument.
Offences recorded by police involving a knife or sharp instrument.

Knife violence has come under the spotlight in recent weeks following a flurry of fatal stabbings.

Official figures show police in England and Wales recorded 37,443 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year to September, a 21% rise compared with the previous 12 months.

The new campaign was welcomed by charities.

Patrick Green, chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust, said: "It is vitally important that we help young people understand the dangers associated with carrying a knife.

"We need to do more to help young people understand that carrying a knife doesn't solve anything, in fact all it does is increase the likelihood that you will be imprisoned, seriously injured or murdered.

"Introducing young people to the life stories of others who have faced the same challenges but have chosen to live knife free is a powerful way to help them make more positive choices."

Information about the campaign can be found at www.knifefree.co.uk