How social media campaign is hitting the right note to encourage Sheffield youths not to carry knives

Anti-knife crime campaigners are hoping that a viral social media campaign will lead to a reduction in the number of stabbings in Sheffield and across the country.

Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 5:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th September 2019, 1:22 am
A view across Sheffield, taken from Manor Lane. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-31-07-19-Insta-2

Rapper and musician Marvin Heron - known as Starz - launched the #knivesdownchallenge hashtag earlier this month and it has now led to more than 100 posts on Instagram with videos and posts of people calling for youths not to carry knives.

Lloyd Samuels, Sheffield Youth neighbourhoods and communities strategic lead, said: "Billboards and posters are taking a top down approach, they’re bland and dark - they’re not speaking to young people. Young people like to see things go viral - they like to watch something entertaining. The approach needs to be strategic.”

There were a total of eight fatal stabbings in Sheffield in 2018.

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The icons of social media apps, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp displayed on a mobile phone.

Actor Idris Elba has also backed the campaign. In a video posted on his Instagram account, he said: “You’re going to stab your future if you go to stab someone else. You become a murderer and you go to prison - for what? For some beef in your community. You need to see past that.”

Marvin ‘Starz’ Heron said that he was 'overwhelmed' and hoped the message will spread across the country.

The message definitely reached Sheffield with BBC Radio Sheffield Radio show, The Sauce speaking about the new trend in their show.

South Yorkshire Police is due to receive £1.6 million from the Government in a bid to tackle the ‘root cause’ of violent crime.