Britain's Home Office Starts £3 Million Anti-Knife Ad Campaign

A three-year, £3 million ad campaign was launched Thurdsay by Britain's Home Office to warn teenagers about the physical and emotional consequences of knife crimes. The campaign will include national radio, online, and mobile phone ads, plus print and "viral ads" to be distributed on social networking sites, according to reports by British newspapers. Other ads will ask British mothers to talk about knife crimes with their teenage children.

The Home Office (www.homeoffice.gov.uk/), which is responsible for protecting the public against terrorism, crime, and anti-social behavior, said the campaign came about after 18 teens from England and Wales gathered in April for a creative summit to recommend ways to curb young people's knife violence. These 18 wrote the scripts. The radio commercials feature teens talking about the emotional impact of a knife attack on their boyfriends and girlfriends. Postcards will bear the message, "If you carry a knife you're more likely to get stabbed yourself."

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on May 22 announced a total of £5 million will be spent nationwide to stop the spread of knife crimes. Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said, "We know that many young people carry a knife because they are fearful, and these adverts tell powerful stories about the dangers of going down that path. People have got to get the message that if they carry a knife, there's more chance of it being used against them."

The radio ads can be heard at www.itdoesnthavetohappen.co.uk.

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