As part of our work to raise awareness to young people about the risks and consequences of carrying knives, SoCo Music Project has worked in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, the Southampton Safe City Partnership and The Saints Foundation to launch #NeverChooseKnives – an urban music campaign written and created by five students from St. George Catholic College – winners of the Southampton Police Apprentice ‘Street Safe. Street Smart’ competition for schools.

The #NeverChooseKnives rap and video showcases competition winners Kitone, Somi, Liz, Euan and Jamie delivering anti-knife crime messages to their peers to positively influence safe and responsible choices. The lyrics are dynamic and refer to the truths of carrying a knife – with the chorus delivering positive advice with the message ‘Stop knife crime now, we’ll show you how, Never Choose Knives’.

Urban music genres, such as Grime, Hip hop and Trap are a significant part of youth culture, a culture that is as dynamic as the punk scene in the 70s and 80s and the rock n’ roll of the 50’s and 60’s. At its best it provides a vibrant form of positive and vital expression, at its worse it exposes a culture obsessed with drugs, violence and crime. It can give young people a positive focus, while also bombarding them with unrealistic goals. Now more than ever it is crucial that we provide a relevant and engaging environment for young people to thrive, supporting them through these challenging times and creating positive and meaningful pathways.

Despite the bad news stories often associated with urban music and the scene that surrounds it, there is a growing movement of positive, pro-social action in urban music across the region. There are music organisations, venues, artists and youth providers that are creating an ecosystem for young people to express themselves, learn new skills, collaborate with others and find progression in music that is relevant to their lives.

We are delighted to be part of the #NeverChooseKnives campaign. Helping the talented young people involved to take their eloquent and engaging message out into a wide audience. We look forward to developing this work with the programme’s partners to help more young people be creative, safe and make positive decisions in their lives.

Hampshire Constabulary have created an excellent resource that provides teachers, professionals and parents with information and resources to help educate young people about keeping safe and making responsible choices, around knife crime and wider issues. Find out more at the safe4me website.

Music Video

Behind the Scenes

“The focus, creativity and commitment demonstrated by this group of young people reinforces how fundamentally important it is to respect young people as credible partners in problem-solving issues affecting them and their community. #NeverChooseKnives perfectly captures the aim and ethos of the Police Apprentice Initiative, giving young people a voice and a platform to be heard.

We encourage teachers and parents to use the Never Choose Knives rap as a tool to initiate conversations with young people about the risks of carrying knives – supporting them to make safe and responsible choices to prevent themselves from becoming a victim or offender.”

PC Maria Carrick, Education and Engagement Coordinator – Hampshire Constabulary

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