Kendra Ross, a Youth Outreach Worker for Fearless (part of Crimestoppers), regularly uses the #NotTheOne campaign to explain complex topics like joint enterprise and county lines when running workshops on knife and drug-related crime to young people.

Showcasing harsh realities

Kendra wanted to use the campaign to explain that knife crime is an issue in Wales. The aim, she said, was to showcase its harsh realities, while demonstrating that there’s always another way to approach a situation, and there are people who can help – that young people never need to resort to knife crime. But it’s not always an easy message to convey.

“Delivering knife crime awareness can be tricky. Sometimes, we get other professionals or younger people not realising the realities of the situation.”

Using local examples to illustrate the situation

Kendra added that young people don’t acknowledge that these harsh realities can happen in places local to them – like Cardiff – and this is exacerbated by the fact that they typically only hear about examples of knife crime in bigger cities around the UK.

“Using some of the stories from the #NotTheOne campaign has really helped illustrate the situation [here in Wales],” she said.

“When I deliver county lines sessions, I will always mention Harry Baker as a local example, as, again, county lines can seem like a world away to some young people in our local communities.”

“That being said, some young people in Cardiff are perfectly aware of what county lines are but seem to have an element of bravado associated with it – voicing that ‘no one would trick me into it, I’d be fine’, and the Harry Baker story shows this isn’t the case.

“I additionally use the CCTV footage when conducting my knife crime sessions. It helps exemplify joint enterprise with a real example, as young people struggle to believe the principle exists.”

Being open and honest is key

“I think using the resources is really helpful and impactful,” said Kendra. “Young people are shocked and usually grateful at the end of the sessions for the new knowledge, and the fact that it isn’t sugar-coated, which can be very patronising to them.”

Any advice for other teachers or professionals looking to use the campaign in their work?

“Don’t try to sugar-coat anything,” she said. “And be open and honest with young people.”

For parents and youth workers

Advice from professionals on how best to approach an honest conversation about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

For parents and youth workers

Help and advice

There is always a way to live a life without knives. If knives are affecting your life or the life of someone you know, you don’t have to face it alone.

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