A police officer based in Wrexham has produced a powerful video warning youngsters about the deadly dangers of knife crime.
The DVD called Knife Edge was produced by PC Wayne Pugh in conjunction with the Youth Justice Service in Wrexham.
Their efforts have been commended by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick CB QC who believes the film could help save lives.
The free DVD is now being used by 38 Youth Offending Teams across England and Wales in a bid to deter knife crime and its potentially lethal consequences.
PC Pugh, who is seconded to the Youth Justice Service in Wrexham, stressed that North Wales was a safe place to live and work – and that he wanted to keep it that way.
He paid tribute to the support he’d received from Ani Sutton and James Sankey who work for the Youth Justice Service in Wrexham and Wrexham County Borough Council who provided funding.
The soundtrack for the film is a song called One day baby, you’ll be old, which was a hit in 12 countries across the world for California-based singer songwriter, Asaf Avidan, who gave his permission for it to be used.
The bilingual video is aimed at high school pupils and outlines the potential consequences of one moment of madness, which could potentially lead to a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
As a result, the offender could miss out on a lifetime of happy memories, like their own children growing up, important milestones like 18th birthdays, family weddings and the birth of their grandchildren.
There are also graphic images of injuries caused by knife attacks – all the victims featured gave the go-ahead for the pictures to be used.
PC Pugh: “The primary aim for Wrexham Youth Justice Service is to keep young people out of the criminal justice system and specifically, in this case, it is a drive to cut down on the use of knives in fights.
“If we can prevent one young person from becoming involved in knife crime, then it will be worth the work that’s gone into it.
“A crime committed with a knife can blight two families, that of the offender and that of the victim – there’s a ripple effect.
“The incarceration of the offender affects their family and the injury or the death of the victim affects their family.
“One split second of stupidity in taking out a knife and using it can cause a massive amount of grief involving a lot of people.
“What might be an intended thrust with a knife to catch the victim on an arm might well catch the victim on an artery and might then cause the victim to bleed to death from the wound without that being the intention. The result could be a very long prison sentence.
“You can picture that young person sitting in a cell, and there have been many, with their head in their hands and thinking back as to why they picked up that knife in the first place.
“If they’re incarcerated for a long period of time, which they probably would be if they were involved in a knife crime incident, we point out the memories that young person is missing out on, the journey through life that so many of us experience.
“While life stalls in that prison, life outside goes on – and you can imagine that 40 year old man or woman who is in jail thinking of that 15 year old kid who made that rash decision that ruined their life.”
After watching the video, Mr Roddick said: “I was very impressed by the content and by the way it’s been put together. It’s a great achievement by PC Pugh and his colleagues at Wrexham Youth Justice Service.
“The video contains an extremely powerful and clear message and I commend it to everybody, especially to schools and young people.
“In fact, it’s a potentially lifesaving message. The risk from being in possession of a knife in circumstances where your patience or temper are tested is a highly dangerous one.
“If you have a knife and you’re challenged, you simply don’t know how really to control your use of it. Also carrying a knife signals to others that you’re dangerous and this might cause then to react to you. They might be carry a knife of their own.
“The worst danger is to the innocent so young people should be made familiar with the very real risks that ensue from being in possession of a knife, especially in anger.
“One of the reasons why knife crime is not as big a problem in North Wales – as it is in other parts of the country – is because North Wales Police have focused on that crime and have been determined not to let it become a major problem here as it has so easily become in other parts of England and Wales.”
“If the video deters one young person from wielding a knife, it will have been worth it. One life saved is a great achievement. One life lost is a tremendous and tragic loss.”
The video can be watched on YouTube. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXjnq22QK7c