Search

Grime stars join Mayor of London to launch anti-knife campaign with hard-hitting message

PUBLISHED: 13:07 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:56 28 March 2018

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was joined by grime artist Yungen, urban poet Hussain Manawer, blogger The Slumflower and young people at the anti-knife campaign launch today. Picture: Emma Youle

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was joined by grime artist Yungen, urban poet Hussain Manawer, blogger The Slumflower and young people at the anti-knife campaign launch today. Picture: Emma Youle

Archant

The Mayor of London issued a rallying call to young people across the capital today as he launched a new anti-knife campaign saying: ‘Don’t carry a knife, we need you alive’.

Backed by influential young grime and rap stars, poets and bloggers, Sadiq Khan unveiled the social media campaign aimed directly at young people.

It will spread a message focusing on the value and potential of London’s teenagers, as it asks them to make an active choice not to pick up a weapon.

The campaign comes as knife crime across the capital has risen by 31 per cent in the last year.

Forty young people under the age of 25 have been fatally stabbed on the capital’s streets since January - including many from north and east London.

Young Londoner Deno displays his poster at the launch event. Picture: Emma YouleYoung Londoner Deno displays his poster at the launch event. Picture: Emma Youle

Mr Khan said: “Too many of our young people are being senselessly lost to knife crime. It has to stop.

“We can’t solve the problem by police enforcement alone, we need to get the message across that our young Londoners are too valuable to risk their lives by carrying a knife.”

A hard-hitting video will form the backbone of the campaign, which is supported by some of the capital’s most influential young social media and music stars.

Ilford performance poet Hussain Manawer and grime artists Yungun and Bossman Birdie, who hail from Tottenham, were at the launch, as well as blogger and radio personality The Slumflower.

The mayor and social media stars meet young people at the launch. Picture: Emma YouleThe mayor and social media stars meet young people at the launch. Picture: Emma Youle

Urban poet Hussain said he was championing the initiative to drive awareness and build solutions.

“I’ve known young people who have been stabbed and, unfortunately, someone who was killed due to knife crime, so this topic is close to my heart,” he said.

“Campaigns such as ‘London Needs You Alive’ give visibility to something that can break families and tear apart societies.”

Rapper Yungen said: “I know what it’s like to be from an estate and how easy it is to get caught up in drama, and now I’m in a position to see there is more to life. I wanna share that with younger people who may have more potential than they feel they do.”

The words of one 14-year-old who took part in the workshop. Picture: Emma YouleThe words of one 14-year-old who took part in the workshop. Picture: Emma Youle

The family of Ben Kinsella, who have worked to raise awareness of the consequences of knife crime since the 16-year-old was fatally stabbed in Islington in 2008, have also backed the campaign.

Ben’s sister Brooke, a former Eastenders star, said: “We need to remember that knife crime doesn’t just destroy one life, it destroys countless lives. That’s why I’m supporting the mayor’s campaign.”

The mayor joined a group of 14-year-olds taking part in a creative workshop at the launch in Brixton and joked with one boy that he was jealous of his 100,000 Instagram followers.

But, more seriously, Mr Khan also spoke of his determination to nurture the talent of young Londoners, highlighting that social media alone will not tackle the rising number of stabbings on London’s streets.

Urban poet Hussain Manawer is supporting the campaign. Picture: Emma YouleUrban poet Hussain Manawer is supporting the campaign. Picture: Emma Youle

He said the campaign comes as part of a targeted package of measures on knife crime, and called on police, schools, faith and civic leaders to play an active role in encouraging youngsters not to carry knives.

“By showing the incredible young people of our city how much we need and value them, we could save countless lives,” he said.

Watch the London Needs You Alive video via this link.

* This newspaper will be publishing a special series of reports on knife crime and its impact on local communities in coming weeks. If you have something to say, contact investigations journalist Emma Youle on emma.youle@archant.co.uk or call 020 7433 0122.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 16:03

A man has appeared in court over a hit and run crash which killed Camden man Richard Dougherty last month.

Yesterday, 10:26

“Today’s ruling [...] focuses on procedure rather than the merits of the scheme.”

Yesterday, 10:24

A cycling campaigner has blamed CS11’s legal defeat on Transport for London’s “watering down” of the project – and said it is time for London mayor Sadiq Khan to “improve his politics game”.

Yesterday, 09:18

Westminster North MP Karen Buck joined parents and children to protest the sudden closure of Queen’s Park Nursery.

Yesterday, 08:07

Campaigners from Greenpeace staged a protest outside the Camden High Street Marks and Spencer on Saturday to urge the high street giant to crack down on its use of single-use plastic.

Mon, 17:33

Senior coroner Mary Hassell has today unveiled the new policy that will dictate how her office decides which deaths to deal with first.

Mon, 15:24

The Luna Cinema was back in Alexandra Palace park this weekend and crowds enjoyed special screenings of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Breakfast Club.

Mon, 12:37

There’s “room for improvement” for Camden’s community centres when it comes to access for people with disabilities, according to a report from campaigners and the borough’s Healthwatch group.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now