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Published on Friday 03 May 2024

A graphic from SAFERBCP Partnership, saying: #LivesBeforeKnives, #ChangesAreMade.

A major campaign to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime launches this Bank Holiday weekend across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.  

The Knife Crime Awareness campaign follows the tragic death of Cameron Hamilton last summer.

Cameron, 18, was fatally stabbed in Bournemouth Square following an altercation on a night out – an event that has not only changed the lives of his family and friends, but highlighted the dangers posed by young people carrying knives.

The campaign, supported by Cameron’s grandmother Tracy Jose, seeks to highlight the importance of awareness and education about knife crime, as well as empowering parents and young people to have proactive conversations to reduce the risk of knives.

While Dorset remains a safe place to live with one of the lowest knife crime rates in the UK, Cameron’s death, and that of Tom Roberts back in March 2022 aged just 21, show there is still work to be done.

Tracy Jose has joined forces with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council as part of the wider SaferBCP partnership to shape positive change through a large-scale, first of its kind, multi-agency initiative.

She said: “The Knife Crime Awareness campaign’ seeks to empower young people with the knowledge to make informed choices, educating them on the dangers and implications of carrying knives, while providing essential resources and support for parents, carers, schools and the wider community. 

“The impacts of knife crime are very real as my family has sadly experienced first-hand, so a campaign such as this that gets young people engaging and talking about knife crime is so important for everyone, Tracy said.

“As Cameron’s grandmother, I would ask everyone to think twice before deciding to carry a knife which can have serious consequences for them, and potentially devastate other families like ours.  

“Please don’t carry a knife – if there had not been one present on the 5th of August, Cam would still be alive and here with us today, and that’s what young people need to realise.  

“This is why I wanted to inspire a campaign such as this and started the organisation ‘Changes Are Made’ (CAM) in honour of Cam, and I hope it can make a difference in the fight against knife crime.”

The campaign’s launch event takes place from 2-5pm on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens with opportunities for young people to get involved for free, including a live graffiti art installation, football fun, first aid demonstrations, a boxing demo, a drum and bass fitness session and more.  

This will be followed by a variety of events and activities spread across the coming weeks which include theatre workshops, skateboarding events, school activities, live music and much more to engage young people. 

These initiatives will be complemented with resources and support networks to equip parents and carers as well as members of the community with the tools to address and prevent knife-related incidents effectively. 

The campaign will also highlight the collaborative efforts in working to tackle serious violent crime to bring about positive change and contribute to the reduction of knife-related incidents across the BCP area. 

BCP Council already work alongside multiple partner agencies to tackle serious crime, including Dorset Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, University Hospitals Dorset and many others under the BCP Community Safety Partnership, Safer BCP, all sharing the same commitment to reducing serious violent crime in our three towns.   

Councillor Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services, BCP Council, said: “Most young people don’t carry a knife, but this campaign is targeted at a younger demographic of 14–20-year-olds as part of a preventative model to deter this group from the outset and break the link between juvenile crime and disorder, and adult offending. 

“We are fully committed to tackling the issue of knife crime across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Our partnership approach ensures we are taking proactive steps to address this serious issue head-on to enable us to put an end to the devastating impacts of knife crime. 

"In addition to safeguarding our young people, we're also committed to creating a safer environment for all residents across the conurbation." 

Local Policing Commander for Bournemouth, Chief Superintendent Heather Dixey, said: “Dorset Police supports this initiative whole-heartedly. Some people think they might be safer carrying a knife, whereas in reality it only puts them in danger. It only takes one silly decision to ruin a family’s life and, together with our partners, we want to prevent this heartache from happening and stop knives being used on the streets in Dorset.

“This joint initiative is a proactive way to educate young people about knife carrying through various activities taking place in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole over the coming weeks, and to encourage them to feel confident to make informed choices.

“We will continue working together with our partners to protect our communities and ensure people feel safe.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, said: “Together, we are all working tirelessly to tackle the devastating impact of knife crime across Dorset.

“It is only through the power of collaboration and partnership work that we can make a real difference to this very serious issue, and this campaign is a very positive symbol of the work which is already taking place.

“I am determined all of us in all our agencies must work together to prevent another tragic and senseless loss from happening to another family.”

Paul Kinvig, Chief Operating Officer at Bournemouth Town Centre BID, said: “We’re proud to be standing alongside Tracy in her desire to help make the tragic loss of Cameron a catalyst for positive change.

“Safety and security is the number one priority for our businesses so supporting these town centre events in this awareness campaign, as part of this collaborative approach, is one of the ways we can help make a difference.”  

To learn more about the Knife Crime Awareness Campaign, and to access the full list of events and activities taking place throughout, click here.

Notes to Editors:

*Crime in England and Wales: Police Force Area data tables; Office for National Statistics, (25 Jan 2024).    



  • From 9-10am on Tuesday 7 May at the Bandstand in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens


  • Key stakeholders in attendance include:
  • Tracy Jose, Cameron Hamilton’s grandmother
  • Cllr Slade, Leader of the Council
  • Cllr Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services
  • Cllr Burton, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People
  • Chief Superintendent Heather Dixey, Local Policing Commander for Bournemouth
  • Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner


  • To access the full list of events and activities taking place during the Knife Crime Awareness Campaign, click here.

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