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After winning a competitive pitch, insight-led creative agency If has been working with Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Violence Reduction Network to tackle the root causes of knife crime.

The social-first campaign was conceived after studying research that provided key insight into emotions and behaviours around knife crime. This was crucial in understanding what messages would truly connect with the teenage audience.

The campaign, launched on Instagram, combines video, stills, paid stories and posts of real life experiences of young people to show the impact of knife crime. The aim of the initiative is to show how making positive decisions can change a young life for the better – encouraging them to steer away from knife crime involvement, rather than focusing purely on the obvious negatives of carrying a knife.

The campaign’s narrative is filled with positive messages to inspire and lead by example, using a series of real life testimonials along the lines of: ”After the last few months, I know I make better choices when I’m not with them.”

 
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Inspiration is offered up through real narratives around the usefulness of joining a sports club, taking on new challenges or going to college and pursuing a career.

The second phase of the campaign then focuses on the wider community, providing support to parents and helping them spot the signs that their children may be involved in knife crime. Information and support will then be provided to help them direct their child towards making a positive difference. 

Jo Whiteley, creative director at If, commented: ”With such a focus on academic results, many young people are left feeling insecure and worthless, so we set out to show them what’s possible and to inspire them with endless possibilities, often harnessing natural abilities like creativity or character traits. Anything to give them a focus and leave them believing they can.”

Detective chief superintendent Sue Clarke, head of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, added. “The If agency worked closely with the team and we are really pleased with the final campaign. It’s been shaped with our neighbourhoods in mind and I hope that it will encourage individuals to stop, think and believe they can step away from knife crime and make a positive change to their life.”

Follow the Believe You Can Lancashire Instagram account for updates.