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Charities launch hard-hitting campaign against knife crime

 

It features an emotive podcast where mum Lynn Burns talks about losing her only child

Charities have joined forces to launch a hard-hitting digital campaign against knife crime.

Fearless.org - the youth programme of Crimestoppers and the No Knives Better Lives programme run by YouthLink Scotland, tell the story of victims and aim to get young people to speak up to help make their communities safer.

At the very heart of the campaign, is an emotive podcast where mum Lynn Burns talks about losing her only child.

Sam was murdered in 2013 and died from a single stab wound to his chest and Lynn wanted to tell his story in order to help young people understand the consequences of carrying a weapon and to encourage them to contact Fearless.org, anonymously, with information about weapons to help prevent further deaths. 

https://youtu.be/C8o9BE85RXY

The youth organisations also use real-life anonymised case studies to share the stories of three young people who have also been affected by knife crime.

They are encouraging young people to speak up to help make their communities safer by giving information online, 100% anonymously via Fearless.org.

Lyndsay McDade, national youth projects coordinator for Crimestoppers Scotland, said:“I’m so grateful to Lynn for being willing to share Sam’s story with young people all over Scotland. From listening to her speak, I have absolutely no doubt that her experiences as a mum losing her son, will really make young people take stock and consider what they can do to stop another mum from ever feeling that pain.

“In our experience, young people want to do the right thing and speak up, but they're often worried about being labelled a grass or physical reprisals. 

“We’re urging young people to continue to tell our charity who they know or suspect regularly carries a knife or other weapons. It only takes two minutes to complete our simple anonymous online form at fearless.org and we guarantee you’ll stay 100% anonymous.

“We can’t trace IP addresses or any contact details that could identify you. Nobody will ever know the information came from you. Please don't wait until someone gets badly hurt or killed before speaking up to our charity and telling us what you know 100% anonymously.”

Orielle Taylor, senior development officer at YouthLink Scotland, added:“Thank you to Lynn for sharing Sam’s story and the impact on her and the whole family that his death had. It is so powerful in reminding us all the devastating consequences of every incident of youth violence.

“Luckily In Scotland today, it’s only a minority of young people who carry knives. That is why it is so important for all young people to know what they can do if they know that someone is carrying.

“Through our work we support young people to be active bystanders and take steps that can make a life-saving difference, be this through distraction, delaying or documenting. Reporting to a trusted adult like a youth worker, teacher or police officer is just one step.

“Working with Fearless on this campaign, we are hoping to emphasis to young people that they have even more avenues for reporting when they know someone is carrying a knife. Through Fearless.org, young people can report anonymously and discreetly.”

The campaign is being backed by the Scottish Government.  Justice secretary Keith Brown said: “It is great to see the launch of such an important campaign by Fearless and No Knives Better Lives which highlights the devastating consequences of violence.

“We know that levels of handling offensive weapons have fallen drastically over the last decade, but we cannot be complacent, there is still much more we need to do to prevent more harm and heartache.

“That is why I am supporting this campaign and urge all young people to listen to Lynn’s story and report anonymously if you know, or suspect someone is carrying a knife. This could make a lifesaving difference and will help keep our communities safe for everyone.”

 

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