The videos reinforce the notion that if you are seen to be involved in an incident of violent crime, you could be considered as equally guilty as the person who committed it, and convicted under Joint Enterprise.
Created in collaboration with young people, the videos are the latest addition to the Violence Reduction Unit’s Knives Impact Everyone campaign, released last summer, to raise awareness of the impact and consequences of knife crime.
Set out to provide a clear understanding of Joint Enterprise and to demystify this complex topic, both videos show a group of young people describing how an incident involving a knife can have a devastating impact on so many, as well as leading to lengthy sentences for those involved.
With young people stating that they are not fully aware of Joint Enterprise, it led the Violence Reduction Unit to commission Northern Stage, a theatre production company in Newcastle, to produce the videos alongside young people.
A series of workshops took place where young people from schools in Newcastle, as well as those with lived experience, were able to provide their thoughts and views to inform the content and style of the videos.
Now available to primary and secondary school settings, the videos are a vital resource in the Violence Reduction Unit’s Education Team toolkit, where learning around the impact and consequences of knife crime, and a range of other serious violence topics, are delivered to thousands of young people all year round.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness said: “Carrying a knife is never the right choice – that’s what these videos are all about. They are a crucial resource, helping young people understand the impact and consequences of knife crime. Often, young people tell us that they don’t really understand the implications of Joint Enterprise, so education really is key here.”
“Through the Violence Reduction Unit’s dedicated education team offering a whole programme of learning activity, to videos like this made all the more powerful by hearing directly from young people, and through information provided in our Knives Impact Everyone campaign, we aim to breakdown complex topics and help young people make informed choices.”
“Sadly, our region has experienced the devastation of knife crime, but I don’t want to see another life lost to this horrific crime. That’s why through the Violence Reduction Unit, Northumbria Police and partners, we will continue to do everything we can to tackle serious violence, get ahead of issues faced by communities and educate our young people to divert them from crime.”
She added: “So, if you work with young people or feel your school could benefit from learning around topics such as knife crime, get in touch with the Violence Reduction Unit. My thanks go to everyone involved in the production of these videos, which are a very useful resource.”
Kate Denby, Executive Director at Northern Stage, said: “Our team worked closely with young people impacted by knife crime and joint enterprise, and with our partners at Meerkat Films and writer Lydia Marchant, to create these moving short films. They perfectly demonstrate the power of arts and creativity to reach young people and communicate important issues in an accessible and impactful way. Empowering young people and giving them the tools to make informed choice is central to the work of Northern Stage, and this project will, I’m sure, make a real difference to our community.”
For more information about the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit and to view the new videos, visit the website.