A social media campaign has been set-up to lift the veil on weapon-enabled violence and exploitation in Nottinghamshire and direct vulnerable victims towards help.
The #STOPVIOLENCE campaign has been funded by Nottinghamshire's Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and the county's Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping. Developed by marketing firm Powell and Barns Group Ltd, the project began by capturing the personal experiences and views of young people across the county through a series of city and county focus groups. The research was then used to produce a series of hard-hitting short videos which were shot in and around Nottingham. They retell the stories of victims of gang culture, sexual exploitation, online bullying and intimidation in a bid to shatter illusions about violence and gang culture.
In a statement released to draw attention to the campaign, a spokesperson for the project, said, "It was vital we used the language and mediums appropriate to young people so the message resonates with them and leaves a lasting impression. We make no apology for the realism and emotive testimonies portrayed in these films. We want young viewers to remember what they have seen and heard forever and if we can stop just one young person carrying a knife or weapon then a life may have been saved."
Actors, performers and models for the campaign were supplied by Bilborough College in the city, and youth consultants from local neighbourhoods assisted with content development to ensure authenticity and a true reflection of the issues covered by the campaign.
Videos and topics
The first series of videos are live at www.hashtagng.co.uk, the website also has information and links for people who may be concerned or impacted by violent crime. Young people, parents and the wider community can follow and share the campaign across social media on the following platforms by searching the below usernames:
YouTube and Snapchat: hashtagng
Videos will continue to be released until October and each section of the campaign is designed to speak to the experiences and concerns some young people face alone. The campaign also aims to provide a counter-narrative to the normality of violent crime and reporting a concern, making use of hashtags and slogans such as #befearless #chooselife #stopviolence that promote safety and the idea of taking control of personal decisions.