Bradford College students and West Yorkshire Police joined forces to hold an anti gun and knife crime event in Bradford’s Centenary Square, on Saturday 3 April, joining together to say 'Not in Our City'. This follows a number of high-profile national cases in the media, where young people have been seriously or fatally injured by gun and knife crime incidents.
The campaign 'Not in Our City' was created, in a bid to raise ‘weapons’ awareness across all ages. The event saw police and students talking to members of the public about the issue. Leaflets were also handed out during the day, featuring information on the police's ‘Think Life Not Knife’ work across the region. Students from Bradford College and Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College worked together to help with the campaign.
West Yorkshire Police's PC Rory Romani, has worked tirelessly on the 'Think Life Not Knife' campaign, to raise awareness about the risks of getting involved with weapons and gang culture. PC Romani has visited thousands of children at schools and youth groups across the region, as well as Bradford South NPT and Bradford College, to deliver the ‘Think Life Not Knife’ presentation that has captured the hearts of the nation.
Following the success of a previous campaign ‘Operation Mineral’, PC Romani wanted to take the messages from that work, to a wider audience. PC Romani said: "I also want to show the people of West Yorkshire - not just the region's young people - both the dangers of getting involved with weapons and how seriously the police deal with weapon-related incidents."
Inspector Kevin Pickles of the Bradford South NPT added: "This event has ensured that these important messages are delivered by PC Romani and the City Ward NPT officers. The event has been a great opportunity for officers to have quality, face to face interaction with the communities we serve."
Students from both colleges, as well as young offenders from New Hall Prison, created 21 posters that have been made into a calendar. The calendars, as well as CD's went on sale to raise money to give to charities supporting the Haiti disaster.
Bradford College Tutor, Michelle Greenwood, said: "I believe that the issue of gun, gang and knife culture in our cities should be addressed. I’ve seen one of Rory's presentations before and it gave me the idea to work with him, the Bradford NPT and our students to design a leaflet related to knife crime, which they were very enthusiastic about. This then expanded into the ‘Not In Our City’ event.
Michelle concluded: "I believe it’s been good for these young people to be seen working alongside the police to support their community. Hopefully other young people will recognise and respect what these students from Bradford College are trying to do." Bradford College supports the campaign and will continue to work together with the Police to make the district as safe as possible.
Photograph courtesy of Telegraph and Argus