Young people and violent images

University College London have published a report, commissioned by the London Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), on how knife imagery posted on social media by police impacts young people in London. The VRU’s Young People’s Action Group (YPAG) carried out peer-led surveys with a group of 12- to 25-year-olds to support the research. Findings include: the majority of young people had negative feelings when seeing knives posted on social media by police; some young people become ‘desensitised’ when viewing images of knives; and in a small number of young people seeing images of large knives increased the likelihood of them carrying a knife. Recommendations include: images of confiscated knives should not be posted on social media due to the impact on some young people and communities; and young people should have opportunities to learn about the positive work the police are doing to make communities safe.

Read the news story: Study shows impact of knife imagery not universal, but is more profound for some young people affected by violence
Download the report: The impact on young people of police using images of knives in social media posts (PDF)

Source: UCL, VRU

Date: 25 January 2023


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