This is one of the chilling images Leicestershire Police are using to crackdown on knife crime
Chilling pictures showing a dead teenager and a headstone are showcasing a tough new police crackdown on knife crime.
The brutally-gruesome shots are being used by Leicestershire Police to front its Lives Not Knives campaign.
And they are clearly aimed at hitting you straight between the eyes.
The macabre images will appear on buses throughout Harborough as well as in Leicester and the rest of the county.
One picture shows the feet of a 17-year-old sticking out under a shroud in a mortuary by the warning “Killed by his own knife”.
Another features a gravestone with the same inscription dedicated to a son, brother and nephew.
Supt Shane O’Neill, who leads Leicestershire Police’s response to knife crime, said: “We hope these new images will raise awareness of knife crime among youngsters and its potentially deadly consequences while encouraging them to seek alternative and positive routes by channelling their energies elsewhere.
“Education is the best way of preventing potential offenders later on in life.”
He added: “This latest phase of our Lives Not Knives campaign is a big part of that.
“The majority of people don’t carry a knife but it’s that small minority we hope to get the message through to.
“It sounds obvious but many teenagers don’t realise that carrying a weapon, whether for reassurance and protective purposes, puts them at far higher risk of injury and death. “They may never intend to use it.
“But situations can quickly get out of hand and a split-second decision in the heat of the moment can ruin lives and leave families devastated.”
Supt O’Neill said their campaign should make people who carry knives “think twice”.
The force spoke to schoolchildren and teenagers to help shape the anti-knife pr offensive.
“Our research with them showed that the most memorable images, and therefore more likely to be listened to, were those that were hard hitting and highlighted the consequences.
“As ever we also encourage anyone with concerns for themselves, a friend, family member or relative to speak to us or another appropriate agency for support and diversion,” said Supt O’Neill.
“Clearly we will not tolerate knives on our streets and will do everything we can to catch offenders.”
Lord Willy Bach, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, has funded projects to combat knife crime.
“It’s important we communicate effectively with those at risk of either becoming a victim or perpetrator of knife crime.
“That means using a variety of methods and imagery,” said Lord Bach.
“I very much hope this hard-hitting campaign drives the message home that carrying a knife can also carry dire consequences.
“It’s just not worth it.”