Crime Stoppers Victoria and Victoria Police are urging young Victorians to cut the violence in a bid to reduce knife-related crime which can devastate families and leave communities reeling.
The ‘Cut the Violence’ campaign has been developed in consultation with secondary school students aged between 15-18 years to reinforce the risks and consequences for those carrying a knife.
Crime Stoppers Victoria Chief Executive Stella Smith said education played a vital role in stopping knife crime in the community.
“No parent or family member should ever have to receive a phone call to hear that their child or loved one has been stabbed,” she said.
“There is simply no excuse for carrying a knife illegally – and through this campaign, we want to show the potential devastating consequences of knife crime.
“Carrying a knife as a weapon is illegal – it doesn’t make you tough or protect you, it only increases the chances of you spending time behind bars, being injured or dying.”
Victoria Police North West Metro Commander Michael Cruse said police will continue to target the carriage and use of knives and weapons in a number of different ways.
“Police, like the community, remain concerned about any form of violence on our streets. Any death or injury caused by a knife attack is sadly one too many and we have zero tolerance for those who think that carrying a knife in the community is acceptable.
“Police will continue to target the carriage and use of knives and weapons from all angles, including dedicated OMNI operations which enable us to detect weapons, protect community safety, and deter anyone who may think that carrying a weapon in the community is acceptable.”
“We are imploring those young people out there who feel the need to arm themselves with a knife to listen to the messages from those impacted by this – it’s simply not worth it and is not going to achieve anything other than destroying someone’s life.”
To build the ‘Cut the Violence’ campaign, Crime Stoppers Victoria invited students from Scoresby Secondary College and St Albans Secondary College to take part in consultations across an eight-week period, exploring topics including laws related to knife carrying, the perception of knife crime in the community, and the messaging that would resonate with them when it comes to reducing knife crime in their cohort.
During consultation, students recognised that fear, force, and control may be the main motives for those carrying an illegal knife. Working alongside the Crime Stoppers team, students co-created campaign messaging and concepts to encourage potential offenders to consider the dire consequences of picking up a knife.
Quotes from students involved in the consultation included:
“I want the community to be more educated when it comes to knife crime, what it is, what can be classified as knife crime and what a criminal record can mean for your life. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to use my student voice to help my community.”
Another students question for a potential perpetrator was, “How would you feel if a machete was pulled out and swung at you?”
‘Cut the Violence’ incorporates real opinions, quotes and stories from students, Victoria Police officers, and community members impacted by knife crime to highlight the far-reaching consequences of knife carrying.
A comprehensive set of student, teacher and parent/guardian resources are now available on the Crime Stoppers Victoria website at Cut The Violence