Since our last blog, we’ve made lots of progress in the stock images project. In November, we ran three workshops with young people in HMYOI Polmont and the Good Shepherd Centre. The young people represented a mix of ages, backgrounds and experiences. This mix meant the young people had lots to discuss and had different views on the most effective forms of preventing knife carrying.

For some of the young people, knife crime was still a very present daily reality in their communities. Sadly for a few, they believed it was a situation that was never going to change and carrying a knife was just a way of life. These young people were sceptical about the impact of attempts to prevent knife crime and thought national statistics about reduction in violence were ‘fake news’.

Despite their scepticism, their ideas during the workshops were considered and incredibly valuable. The discussions with these young people have really made us think about our approach to prevention and how we can engage with other young people who feel the same way. Primary prevention has always been the main focus of the NKBL programme but if we are really to make a difference with the minority of young people who still carry knives, it is important to include them in our work and to understand them.

An interactive activity using toys, LEGO figures and digital cameras helped to get them into a photographer’s mind-set thinking about perspective, staging, and the power of an image. The groups got to work capturing ideas of strength, weakness, threat and safety. As well as being good fun, the images produced were striking.

Two clear themes for the stock images emerged – demonstrating both the consequences of carrying a knife, and the positive side of being a young person in Scotland. Last Thursday was day one of shooting the new images. With four young people from PACE Theatre and Connor, a youth worker with Toonspeak, we set about getting different photos in and around Castlemilk in Glasgow capturing young people just being young people!

We have another day planned for taking the second set of images and then it’ll be time for the hard task of selecting the best photos to be in the collection.

The full set of NKBL stock images will be launched on 12th March at the NKBL Network event in Edinburgh. You can book a free place here.

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