An anti-knife campaign will see Weston students’ work displayed in public

Logo for Speak Up campaign, the design is a collaborative work of young people and student animators

Logo for Speak Up campaign, the design is a collaborative work of young people and student animators at UWE, Bristol. - Credit: Archant

Weston pupils chosen to take part in a campaign tackling knife crime have created short animations and will see their work displayed on buses, billboards and bus shelters in the town.

Year 10 pupils from Broadoak Academy have spent the past year working on a project which encourages young people to speak up about knife crime.

Working in collaboration with Avon and Somerset Constabulary, and student animators at UWE Bristol, young people have created short animated films that tackle the complex issues of knife crime.

The students’ film called Speak Up, is based on an imaginary scenario that explores how confiding in a trusted adult about fears that a friend is carrying a knife could ultimately save a life. It ends with the call to action of ‘speak up, before it’s too late.’

Police aim to better understand why young people might carry knives, what support the force can offer, and the issues people face in their daily lives which can lead to them becoming involved in knife crime and violence.

The region-wide campaign will have the students’ key messages from each film discussed on local radio and in the local media.

These are also being shared widely on social media, and there is a prize on offer for the school whose film gets the most views on YouTube.

Most Read

The students have also been working with a local filmmaker to produce a documentary which explores the themes raised in the project and which looks at the work being undertaken by various agencies to tackle serious violence.

Neighbourhood Sergeant for the Bournville area of Weston, Colin Batchelor, said: “The key element of this project is that it has young people’s opinions at the heart of it. We know that police telling young people not to carry knives is not the solution, and police enforcement alone will never be enough to resolve this complex issue.

“By listening to young people’s voices and engaging them in a creative process to produce campaigns which mean something to them and their peers, we hope that they can feel empowered and less fearful.”