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Council uses websites in bid to curb knife crime

PUBLISHED: 15:58 14 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 05 October 2010

A SHOCK film-clip aimed at stopping the epidemic of youngsters carrying knives on the streets has been put out on social networking websites to get the massage home that those who carry knives are more likely to be stabbed themselves. The death toll of teenagers in London has reached 20 this year alone. The clip which has been made for Tower Hamlets council and backed by the Metropolitan Police is thought to be the first of its kind to be produced for a local authority in London

By Julia Gregory

A SHOCK film-clip aimed at stopping the epidemic of youngsters carrying knives on the streets has been put out on social networking websites.

It has appeared on YouTube and Bebo to get the massage home that those who carry knives are more likely to be stabbed themselves.

The death toll of teenagers in stabbings across London has reached 20 this year.

The clip which has been made for Tower Hamlets council and backed by the Metropolitan Police is thought to be the first of its kind to be produced for a local authority in London.

It vividly depicts a youth being chased through the streets... then stabbed after he trips, his attacker looking on as he bleeds to death from a neck would.

Then the victim and the one wielding the knife are revealed as being the same person.

The shock message is that those carrying knives are at risk of being stabbed by their own weapons.

The councilor with the brief for a 'safer' Tower Hamlets, Abdal Ullah, said: "We want youngsters to think long and hard about the risks of carrying knives and put down their weapons before they injure others, or just as likely themselves."

He added: "The film is dramatic and hard hitting. But it needs to be.

"We have not set out to patronise young people. There's no soft side to the reality of knife crime.

"A film won't solve the issues around knife crime alone.

"But encouraging youngsters to talk about it and by showing the consequences is a good way to get them to seriously consider the issue."

The latest victim was a 14-year-old schoolboy, David Idowu, who died at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel on July 7, three weeks after being attacked in south London.

That same day, 21-year-old Dylan Bates-Fox died in a stabbing in Durant Street in Bethnal Green, although not included in the tally of London's 20 fatal stabbings of youngsters. An 18-year-old has been charged with murder.

London's Mayor Boris Johnson was at Mile End Underground station the following day (July 8) to watch police carry out a 'stop and search' operation with a metal detector on youths coming through the ticket barrier.

The Met Police have set up an anonymous text line for school pupils to report anyone they know who carries a knife, to include name, nickname, school and area the suspect lives in.

They predict there will be 104 victims of knife related crime and 200 suspects wielding blades in Tower Hamlets this year alone.

The texts, which cannot be traced, can be sent to 88551.

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