Intimidating.

Threatening.

Scary.

Just some of the words used by practitioners to describe the current images used by media outlets for stories on knife carrying and crime. And you don’t need to look far for such images. A quick Google News search for knife crime will show you what they mean.

But what do these images have to do with knife crime prevention?

At #NKBLnetwork earlier this month, we ran interactive workshops with attendees to introduce them to our stock images project. They came up with their own ideas of new stock images.

When your local paper reports an incident of knife carrying in your area, how does that make you feel? Reassured? Indifferent? Now think about how a young person might view that same story. We believe young people see these stories, particularly the images accompanying them, in a different way from adults. We also think that salacious stories with terrifying images of large blades could be working against prevention work going on up and down the country by amplifying young people’s fears of the prevalence of knives in their community.

Our stock images project puts young people at the centre of this discussion and gives them the opportunity to redesign the stock images used by the media. This month we are running consultation sessions with young people to listen to their views and see their ideas for how the images could be recreated.

We are also holding a wider stakeholder session for those with an interest in the project to give us their views. The session will take place at the YouthLink Scotland offices in Edinburgh on 6th December. If you are interested in attending, please email Emily Beever for full details.

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