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'It Doesn't Have To Happen'

New anti-knife crime billboards launched by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith have been welcomed by our players.

New anti-knife crime billboards launched by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith have been welcomed by our players. The billboards which go live in London today encourage young people and communities to stand together against knife crime.

The new interactive campaign will run in phases throughout the next three months in urban, residential areas across England and Wales, including the ten areas involved in the Tackling Knives Action Programme.

Young people will be encouraged to show their support by adding their own anti-knife photo pledges to the Bebo website. Their images will then be included alongside those of the lads on later versions of the posters in the series which will be unveiled by the Home Secretary next month.

Lads against knife crime

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:
"I want young people to stand united with us in the fight to tackle knife crime and send a clear message that weapons won't be tolerated on our streets.

"Over 60,000 young people have visited the 'It Doesn't Have to Happen' page on Bebo and the site has over 6,000 friends.

"The vast majority of young people are honest and law-abiding and it is crucial that we all spread the message more widely that carrying a knife is not acceptable. We can't do this alone - we need the help of local communities to make a stand."

The new billboards are the latest step in the Government's £3 million national marketing campaign, "It Doesn't Have to Happen", which was launched in May this year.

The campaign, created by young people, for young people, has used radio and viral adverts to reach its target audience and direct them to a dedicated page on the Bebo social networking site where they can come together in the fight against knife crime. So far 9.6 million young people have seen the adverts on websites and 2.8 million people have heard the radio adverts.

Haringey billboards will appear on Seven Sisters Road and Turnpike Lane, so keep a look out if you are in the area!