We are supporting a new campaign that uses football to engage with young people and educate them about the dangers of knife crime
The Lives not Knives campaign was launched recently by Hertfordshire Police with the help of Stevenage FC and aims to encourage young people to make positive life choices and realise that success is possible through education and sport.
The initiative uses branded footballs to raise awareness of the issue, with clubs encouraged to share the message and ‘Pass It On’. It is hoped that by encouraging conversations throughout grassroots football it will support the prevention of knife crime across the county.
Hertfordshire FA representatives recently met with Hertfordshire Police and The Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Taylor at The County Ground to discuss ways that football can have an impact in improving lives and reducing crime.
Hertfordshire FA Chief Executive Karl Lingham said:
“It’s well known that being involved in football can create a positive environment for young people, helping them build valuable life skills such as determination, discipline, resilience and teamwork, which puts the game in a powerful position to support this campaign.
With thousands of young players playing week in and week out, raising awareness of the dangers of knife crime and the devastating impact it can have on the lives of those affected is something the football community can play a key role in.”
Over the coming weeks and months Hertfordshire FA will be working with our clubs to promote the campaign by providing the ‘Lives not Knives’ footballs as well as talking to players and coaches about how they can help.
Hertfordshire FA Designated Safeguarding Officer Richard Drake said:
“It’s a fact that knife crime has risen across the country in recent years and that coverage of this can make young people think that they may need to carry a knife for protection, when the reality is this would put themselves and others in greater danger.
Hertfordshire is generally considered a safe place, but if we can stop people carrying and using knives, through education, diversion or intervention, this can help keep it that way.”
Sergeant Helen Croughton from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Gangs and Schools Team said:
"It is fantastic that our football teams are on board with this campaign, so we can work together to safeguard our young people in Hertfordshire. Footballers are often positive role models for young people, so by them supporting our campaign it promotes the preventative message.
We can give these free 'Lives not Knives' footballs to youth and school football clubs in order to promote awareness of knife crime and associated criminality. The idea is to get as many teams as possible to show their support by being photographed with them.”
For any clubs in the area wanting to get involved in the campaign they can contact Helen by email at Helen.Croughton@herts.pnn.police.uk.
Those involved in football across the county are also urged to share their support for the campaign by using #LivesNotKnives and #PassItOn on social media.