Merseyside Police have embarked on Operation Jinli, a Force initiative bespoke to St Helens, designed to target and counteract a significant spike in knife crime.
To help raise the profile of the operation, police officers have collaborated with Graphic Design students from St Helens College. They have worked together to produce a set of artwork and posters, in the hope of encouraging young people to speak openly about the dangers of carrying weapons and understanding the consequences.
To judge entries, police officers were joined at St Helens College by Karl Ashton, stepfather of Danny Fox. Danny’s family have been instrumental in raising the profile of knife crime following the-29-year-old’s death in 2016.
Karl said: “It was fantastic to see the students get involved with the cause, producing some great work. Even if we save just one life, its good enough for me.”
The winning design went to student Andrew Tickle whose artwork concept was based on highlighting, that with knife crime, there is more than one victim. The evocative design intends to emotionally raise awareness of the wider impact of knife crime.
Graphic Design student Andrew said, “I really enjoyed being a part of this project and creating my pieces. It was inspired by the victims’ families. It’s not just about the victim but the families and friends who are left behind.”
Neil Birkett, Sergeant of St Helens Community Policing Team, said: “The students have all worked really hard in designing some great posters that really highlight the dangers of carrying these deadly weapons. Talking to young people is a key factor in nipping this crime in the bud. We want to educate them that carrying a knife is a criminal offence and could result in a serious penalty or even worse.”
Jeanine Williams, Safeguarding and Wellbeing Manager at St Helens College was instrumental in facilitating the project and forging a relationship between Merseyside Police and the Graphic Design students, talking of the initiative, she said “This has been a great opportunity for our students to contribute to a huge community initiative. It gives them a chance to creatively explore current issues and apply their skills as they would if they worked in industry.”
Andrew was awarded with Amazon vouchers and a certificate but will also see his poster displayed across the borough as Merseyside Police integrate it into their campaign.