The campaign features a stark billboard advert depicting a dead man in a mortuary fridge with the hard-hitting and bleak message: “Carrying a gun can get you into the coolest places.”
Over 80 of the billboards went up over night in the six boroughs of London where gun crime is most prevalent within its black communities.
The advert is intended to demonstrate the likelihood of being a victim of gun crime if you carry a firearm. The tough message about the reality of gun crime is echoed in four supporting radio adverts being played from today that highlight the other consequences of carrying a gun, such as being jailed and living in fear of arrest or retribution.
The campaign will run for two weeks, with other bursts of advertising activity planned for the near future. It has been planned in consultation with the Trident Independent Advisory Group, which plays a vital role in helping Trident combat gun crime within the Capital’s black communities.
Lee Jasper, the chairman of the Trident Independent Advisory Group, said: “Gun crime devastates communities. It creates fear, destroys lives and threatens the very core of our communities. This forceful, cutting-edge campaign is designed to remind young people of the deadly consequences of carrying a gun.”
Assistant Commissioner Steve House, the head of the Met’s Specialist Crime Directorate, said: “The aim of this year’s campaign is to challenge the myth that gunmen deserve respect by showing the true consequences of carrying a gun. Trident is concerned that people are starting to carry guns from an increasingly young age. That is why this campaign is principally aimed at 11 to 16 year olds in London, especially those living in gun crime hotspots, with a view to preventing them from becoming the gunmen of the future.
“Research shows that Trident advertising campaigns work. Every year calls to Crimestoppers with actionable intelligence about gun crime peak during the campaign period
“It is important to remember however, that our campaigns are just one way we will be reaching young people with our messages. The Trident crime prevention team works with schools, colleges, Youth Offending Teams and other partners to show young people the consequences of getting involved in gun crime.”
Det Supt Kevin Davis, the head of Trident, said: “Trident has identified a trend where more people in their teens are resorting to carrying or using guns. The youngest charged with murder was 14. We are determined to tackle this problem through enforcement and working with other agencies, schools and youth services to steer young people away from getting involved in gun crime.”
Anyone with information about gun crime should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Crimestoppers is an independent service that guarantees anonymity.