VOL. NO: 48      DATE:
 
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AFRICAN ECHO NEWS

BLUE WATCH

A special Column for community and Police issues.

Trident music shake up

Operation Trident turns to music as it hosts the exclusive launch of internationally renowned music director Jake Nava's promo video of Roll Deep's new anti gun track. The Met's Trident initiative is taking an unconventional approach to targeting young people by bringing together a top music industry director and grime music artists with an anti-gun crime message. Grime collective Roll Deep's music track 'Badman', draws on their personal experiences of friends who have been affected by gun crime to explore the negative effects carrying and using a gun can have. 

This hard hitting track is complimented by a compelling reality based video directed by Jake Nava, who was brought up in Hackney before moving to America to direct music videos for stars such as Beyonce (Crazy in Love) and Kelis (Milkshake).

In a unique partnership Roll Deep and Jake have come together with Trident due to their strength of feeling about the need to try to dissuade young people from becoming involved in gun crime and carrying guns. 

Talking about their involvement in the initiative Roll Deep said: "Gun crime is a serious issue, something we have all faced in the past. "Guns are being talked about and used more and more by the youngsters we see. The idea of using music to talk to the kids seems an innovative way of trying to push the anti gun message, and we're pleased to be part of helping to spread the message." 

The track has received large amounts of airplay on London's youth-orientated radio stations where presenters have got on board with the campaign by promoting the track. Today the promo film gets its first screening before it is played across urban and music TV channels from 6.11.06. This will be a departure from most public service advertising because we have created content that young people can choose to download and listen to, and music TV channels will want to play. 

"Roll Deep are deeply involved in rap, grime and street culture, and I've made many videos for urban acts in England and across the world," said video director Jake Nava. 

"Both Roll Deep and I had a shared sense of the importance of this particular project, because unlike most of the things that come out of the music business, this really seemed like something that could make a difference." Operation Trident has taken this unusual approach as young people are often more receptive to messages given by their self-chosen role models rather than communication from traditional authority figures. Even though Trident brought together those involved, the strength of the project is that the band and director have taken on the subject and are using their language to own the issue and communicate it to young people. Commander Cressida Dick, in overall charge of Operation Trident, explains the Met's involvement: "With so much of popular culture glamorising guns we wanted to subvert the messages associated with it. In doing so we hope to connect with young people through a medium they are open to and understand. We are delighted that such credible people involved in the music industry feel as strongly as us about the need to get the message to young people about the serious consequences that becoming involved in gun crime can have." 

Over the last four years we have seen an increase in teenagers becoming victims of gun crime. So far in 2006 (1 Jan - 31 Oct) 31%of Trident's victims have been teenagers - this equates to 69 victims. This has been increasing yearly since 2003 when 16% of victims were teenagers (for the whole of the calendar year). So far this year six teenagers have been charged with Trident murders (aged 1x17 years, 2x 18 years, 3x 19years). 

Chair of the Trident Advisory Group Lee Jasper said: "The 'Badman' music video demonstrates the unique partnership between the Met and the black communities of London that seeks to deter young black people from getting involved in gun crime. 

"'Badman' sets new standards in utilising youth culture as a means of promoting an important message. The Trident Independent Advisory Group played a critical role in developing the concept behind the video. "Gun crime in the capital is decreasing, however the collateral damage to black communities - and London as a whole - remains high in relation to loss of life and perceptions of community safety. We are committed to continuing our cutting-edge partnership with the Met, in seeking to further reduce incidents of gun crime."

 

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