Thames Valley Police have partnered with AgencyUK to launch their latest campaign tackling knife crime in Milton Keynes.
‘The Knife Sentence’ invites young people aged 11-25 to sing, rap and speak about their feelings on knife crime, and comes as part of December’s ‘Month of Action Against Violence’, during which the ‘Knife Angel’, a 27ft sculpture made up of around 100,000 seized bladed weapons, will be hosted in the city outside Milton Keynes Stadium.
“The competition is about engaging young people on the issue of knife crime; how they feel about it and how it affects them. Violence and in particular knife crime is a real concern amongst communities in Milton Keynes.” says Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Police.
The purpose of the Month of Action and the presence of the Knife Angel is to bring statutory organisations and the community together to open up discussions about how we can work together to tackle it.
“Some young people may find it a difficult subject to talk about. I hope the competition provides a way for young people to open up and get involved in the conversation.”
The competition is in partnership with ReadiPop, a local charity that uses music and arts to enrich the lives of everyone from vulnerable people to aspiring artists and musicians in Reading and the Thames Valley.
They have composed three downloadable beats – one hip-hop, one grime, one drill – for entrants to perform over, and will be judging the entries.
Three winners will be selected in each age category of 11-15, 16-20, and 21-25, who will each receive a recording session with ReadiPop and the chance to be heard on Spotify, as well as two tickets for an upcoming MK Dons match experience.
“AgencyUK have been honoured to work closely with the Thames Valley Police Commissioner on such an important and emotive issue. Our task has been to try to reach young people within Milton Keynes and the wider area in a way that is authentic and relevant to them. We hope we have been considerate and respectful with the issue and our creative campaign will help to encourage young people to engage and share their own stories through our social media campaign. We thank ReadiPop for their involvement and hope that this campaign can make steps towards reducing knife crime.” says Amy Stobie, Director, AgencyUK.
Details on how to enter and links to download the backing tracks can be found at thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/knife-sentence-competition
Entries close at midnight on 7 January 2023.