Five mothers have agreed to take part in the new ‘Hard calls save lives’ campaign. In a series of short films, the women relive the aftermath of the murders of their children – recounting the first calls they made after learning of the deaths of their sons.
The campaign, launched this month, aims to encourage people who do not want to deal with the police to contact crime prevention charity Crimestoppers with any information about knife crime.
Its central premise is that while picking up the phone to Crimestoppers may be difficult, it could prevent someone else from having to make a far harder call after the death of a loved one.
The anonymity of callers when contacting Crimestoppers is one key message, while another is that no piece of information is too small, and that it could be used to help shape a wider picture to prevent crime or save someone’s life.
Calling with info about knife crime may be hard, but there are harder calls.— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 14, 2021
Like the calls these five brave mothers had to make when they lost their sons to violence and knife crime.
Help save a life by calling @CrimestoppersUK to report any information.#HardCallsSaveLives https://t.co/witReak9Ui pic.twitter.com/u99ZOzfb1B
The campaign is backed by ads across radio, popular websites, social media and on-demand viewing.
Communities living in areas of high crime in London are being targeted, as are female relatives of those on the periphery of knife crime.
This is Lillian. Lillian's son Quamari was stabbed and killed and Lillian had to call her aunty to tell her.— Ben Kinsella Trust (@kinsellatrust) April 19, 2021
A call to Crimestoppers is hard, but its not as hard as the call Lillian had to make.
Call Crimestoppers free and 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 #HardCallsSaveLives pic.twitter.com/0GEoMzqUif
The campaign is using a mix of traditional and social media channels, along with internal comms among police staff, and collaboration with partner organisations such as charities and local authorities, as well as influencers.
Dwayne started @dwaynamics at the young age of 19, to help deter children from gangs.— Lambeth Police | Central South BCU (@LambethMPS) April 19, 2021
Before he could turn 21, he was stabbed whilst protecting a boy from a man with a sword in Brixton #Lambeth#HardCallsSaveLives | Have info about knife crime? Call @CrimetsoppersUK pic.twitter.com/zz7WmM0DIQ
James Helm, director of comms at the Metropolitan Police, said: “We have worked closely with Crimestoppers to support the efforts of five incredibly brave women who tragically lost their sons to knife crime. Their determination to prevent others from enduring the pain which they continue to face every day is inspiring. It is a targeted and powerful campaign which is driven by insights and partnerships.”
Godwin Lawson was 17 when he was stabbed to death whilst saving his friend from a knife attack in Stamford Hill #Hackney— Hackney Police (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MPSHackney) April 19, 2021
He had a scholarship at Oxford United Academy and his whole life ahead of him.#HardCallsSaveLives | Have info about knife crime? Call @CrimestoppersUK pic.twitter.com/pBvxYOY9OI
The Met is polling target areas in London to track awareness before and after the campaign, and assess reaction to the campaign and message penetration. It is also looking at whether calls and online reports to Crimestoppers have increased.
Archie was run over and stabbed on his way home from a friend's birthday in #Kingston— Kingston Police (@MPSKingston) April 19, 2021
His mum, Becky, text him at 3:50am "You still there son?" Archie's heart had stopped at 3.49am.#HardCallsSaveLives | Have information about knife crime? Call @CrimestoppersUK pic.twitter.com/9aKZfLhxPB
Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick commented: “This campaign would not have been possible without the strength and courage of these mothers, who have relived the traumatic calls they had to make in the hope that it will prevent other families suffering as they have.”
She added: “I have no doubt that these tragic accounts will resonate with Londoners, and will hopefully encourage them to pick up the phone and call Crimestoppers, anonymously, with any information they might have.”
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