These are the Blackpool youths leading the fight against knife crime for the government
A new anti-knife crime poster campaign created by young people from Blackpool has made its way onto the desk of the Home Secretary.
"Knives Cost Lives" is a powerful new poster project that uses slogans designed by youngsters at the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club.
Now young people at the club have sent copies of their work to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to help fight knife crime across the UK.
"Officers had been coming down and meeting with the kids for a while," explained youth worker Dave Blacker, "and when the subject of knife crime was raised, the young people were keen to know how they could help".
Dave said the youths took the initiative and began creating posters to warn young people about the dangers of knives.
"They created loads of posters, and the police took a number of the slogans they had made," he said.
The police worked with a graphics team at the council to form a new campaign based around the slogans.
The successful slogans:
- "Choose a Life not a Knife"
- "Cowards carry knives"
- "We want to hear nice news not knife news"
Now the posters are going up all across the Fylde Coast, online, and on social media with the hashtag #STOPKNIFECRIME.
Insp David Wilson, of Blackpool Police, said: “We have a good relationship with the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club and we’ll continue to support the work they do to divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.”
"I think it's really important that our young people get the credit for the work they did," said Dave, "it gave them a sense of worth and achievement, which is linked to good mental health.
"I think it has empowered them to make positive choices too. They are more likely to challenge friends who carry knives because of it.
"Above all, it's an example of vulnerable young people, the police, and the council, all working on the same project - this wasn't imposed on young people, they took the lead".
And Dave paid tribute to the efforts of police.
"We know how valuable officers' time is now after all the cuts," he said, "but they still found time to come and work with us".
"Anyone who wanted to take part could take part, and it opened up the whole debate around the subject as they worked.
Blackpool Boys and Girls Club, on Victory Road in the town centre, caters for young people aged eight to 18.