New online platform helps challenge young people’s perceptions of drug dealing and knife crime

Thu, 06/10/2016

The Trap, a new online platform that realistically portrays the full impact of drug dealing and carrying knives, is being launched on 6 October.

Created as a resource for professionals working with young people, the platform is an initiative of the Youth Offending Services of Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham, supported by funding from the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

The Trap centres around two films, PWITS and Deep It, that show the devastating impact drug dealing can have on not just dealers, but their families and friends, as well as challenging the common belief that carrying a knife makes a person safer.

The films were made by young people from the three London boroughs together with two film companies that specialise in co-producing films with hard to reach and disadvantaged groups, Latimer and Fully Focused Productions.

Councillor Nickie Aiken, Cabinet Member for Public Protection at Westminster City Council, said: “Talking to young people about the very real impacts of drug dealing and carrying knives is an important part of preventing these crimes from happening in the first place. The Trap is an excellent example of what can be achieved when the police and local authorities work alongside young residents to solve issues that are affecting them and their communities.”

Betty McDonald, Head of Youth Offending Services at Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham said: “The impact on communities as a result of youth violence and disorder often leads to victims being missed or forgotten. We therefore decided to create a high quality resource that has credibility with young people, using a platform that can be accessed by all to challenge the view that these crimes are “victimless”. We hope this resource will be shared and used creatively to support and challenge young people to get out of "The Trap" and make positive choices in their lives away from crime.

The young people involved in the making of these films went through a powerful journey, which involved delving into their own emotional and personal issues as well as learning the technical skills of film making and the societal issues the films cover. Some of these young people have been so inspired that they are going on to work with the film companies further and possibly pursue careers in the industry.“

The Trap will also feature accompanying interviews, discussion points and lesson plans for professionals, to further educate and challenge common perceptions of drug dealing and knife crimes as ‘victimless’.

All material will be available on from 6 October 2016.

Last updated: 2 February 2017