No More Knives began in 2018 as a result of Humberside Police PCSO Richard Whelan working with Kayleigh Pepper from The Rich Foundation. The campaign was set up following the fatal stabbing of Kayleigh’s brother, Richard. PCSO Whelan helped Kayleigh to apply for funding from the Crime Reduction Fund, administered on behalf of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside by the Community Safety Partnership.
Kayleigh and PCSO Whelan then linked up with Mo Timbo, the pastor of PH Hull Church. Mo was once a gang member in London, during which he survived a knife injury and spent time in prison before settling in Hull as a reformed man. Together, the trio launched a campaign to deliver their presentation to local schools.
Keith Hunter, Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, said: “We saw one of the No More Knives presentations and thought the message deserved greater coverage. At the time, my office was considering applying to the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund.
“We decided to include this campaign within that bid to allow the message to be spread across all senior schools in Humberside,” said Keith. “We also incorporated the refurbished bus for Tommy Coyle’s BoxClever programme, which provides students the opportunity to build self-confidence and improve fitness through a combination of physical activity sessions and emotional intelligence workshops.”
The bid was successful and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office looked to build on the initial campaign by creating a bank of resources. This led to the identifying of social enterprise Beats Bus as a delivery partner and the filming of a music video with INIT Creative.
Stephen Arnott, founder of Beats Bus, says: “The campaign fits our mission statement of love, peace and unity in the community. We also believe strongly in the Stop the Violence Movement created from hip-hop in its earlier days.”
Within three months, the music video has received over 25,000 views on YouTube.
Adam Storch, Managing Director at INIT Creative, says: “Having seen the Black Mirror episode ‘Bandersnatch’, we decided to create an accompanying story with two timelines: one where the aggressor takes the knife, and one where they don’t. The way the video ends for the viewer depends on their chosen path, highlighting that, as the song says, the choice is yours.”
No More Knives will continue touring to Humberside schools until April 2020. If you would like to join the conversation, you can use the #NoMoreKnives hashtag across social media.