Mothers relive sons' deaths in new knife-crime campaign

Campaign is created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

Crime prevention charity Crimestoppers has partnered with the Metropolitan Police Service for a campaign showcasing the heartbreaking consequences of knife crime.

Created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, “Hard calls save lives” follows five mothers as they describe the pain of losing their sons to violence and knife crime. 

“Calling with information about knife crime may be hard, but there are harder calls,” each of the five ads declares before providing a number which can be used to call Crimestoppers anonymously.

The campaign runs across video-on-demand, digital and radio activity.

It was created by Martin Loraine and Steve Jones, and directed by Seb Edwards through Academy. Media is handled by Wavemaker.

“We have been incredibly lucky to find such courageous individuals who have been prepared to talk about the hardest moments in their lives in order to help others,” Stephanie Day, head of campaigns at Metropolitan Police, said.

“We hope that their powerful, moving stories will encourage others to call Crimestoppers with information, in the knowledge they will remain completely anonymous.” 

Day continued: “Even a small piece of information could be the missing piece of a puzzle and help save lives.”

In 2019, the Home Office unveiled a campaign, "We are_#knifefree", which put knife crime stories on takeaway boxes in chicken shops across England.

However, the campaign was branded "out of touch", "crude" and "racist" by Labour MPs and Twitter users.

Mark Hallas, chief executive of Crimestoppers, said: “Every day our charity hears from people who often feel they have nowhere else to turn.  

“I’d like to add that everyone who contacts Crimestoppers is guaranteed to stay completely anonymous. 

Hallas added: “By working together, we can help make our communities safer and reduce the harm, pain and suffering caused by knife crime.” 

AMV BBDO has been responsible for a series of anti knife crime campaigns in previous years, including 2017’s "London needs you alive" which was aimed at 13- to 16-year-olds and involved mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

AMV BBDO’s Martin Loraine said: “Everyone understands that some people find it hard to call in with information, but these mothers show what a hard call really is. 

“Our production saw each mother relive the most traumatic call they ever made, across an audio and film shoot.”

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