Journalism student creates animated film for new police campaign against knife crime

A grieving mother’s harrowing story of the violent death of her teenage son has been turned into a hard-hitting film created by a student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

The short animation by Annabel Easton is being shown to Year Seven pupils at schools across Leicestershire and Rutland as a key part of a police campaign against knife crime.  

Annabel, who graduated this month with a first-class joint honours degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from DMU, made the film earlier this year while volunteering in the press office at Leicestershire Police.

The 23-year-old had previously impressed bosses at the force’s media services team by using an animation program to create a short film of safety tips for students. They asked her to put her software skills to use once more – on a recording of a frank, moving interview with Amy Morgan, the mum of Leicester 16-year-old Tyler Thompson, who was killed by a stab wound to the heart in 2015.

“It was quite shocking listening to the interview,” said Annabel, of Quorn. “I wasn’t expecting to hear a story like that. It’s very sad.

“It is good to be able to do something that might help. I hope it will make a difference in some way.” 

AnnabelE

The film is being screened as part of the Leicestershire Police #LivesNotKnives campaign.

Superintendent Shane O’Neill, who leads the campaign for the force, said: “We are very proud of the video that Annabel created during her time volunteering with us.

“She really took on board what we were trying to achieve as part of the campaign and created an important tool in our fight against knife crime.

“Using a knife can have terrible consequences, not just for the victim and those close to them, but also for the offender and their families and friends. This video is hard-hitting and very moving for anyone to watch. Hopefully it gets the message across that knife crime is unacceptable.”

The film, which took several hours to animate and edit, is being shown to 11- and 12-year-old children at secondary schools across the city of Leicester and the two counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. Police began screening it in February.   

Annabel first began volunteering with Leicestershire Police after hearing a guest lecture during her Journalism course, given by Matt Tapp, the force’s director of strategic communications and engagement. 

Posted on: Tuesday 01 August 2017

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