A new music video, aimed to raise awareness of child exploitation and specifically County Lines, launched at 7pm this evening at the Albemarle Music Centre.
The music video, (No More) County Lines, has been produced as part of a continuing collaboration between Hull-based hip-hop collective The Beats Bus, creative agency INIT Creative and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, as part of their Not In Our Community campaign, which raises awareness of grooming and child exploitation.
The music video is the first of the Not In Our Community 5-in-5 campaign (#5in5) that will see new and exciting, locally co-produced resources launched across the Humberside Police Force area every week for the next 5 weeks.
The song (which featured as the title track in a recently launched animation written by award- winning author Christina Gabbitas), takes aim at those behind the explosion of county lines drug grooming; a topic all members of the Beats Bus are extremely passionate about.
Steve “Redeye” Arnott, Beats Bus Founder, said: “For too long gangs have been exploiting our vulnerable youth. We must unite and stop this vermin that is ruining our towns and cities.”
Fellow founding member Dave “DJ Redlocz” Okwesia agrees: “Our next generation is the future, we need to protect and serve them.”
The video was painstakingly crafted over a series of months and saw INIT Creative bring in talented young illustrator Alicia Abbott to provide the artwork for the main characters. She had to juggle her commitments as a student at Wyke College with this, her first large-scale professional engagement.
Alicia Abbott said: “Approaching the character rig brief was a little intimidating at first, but once I understood how to tackle the project in a way that worked for me, I felt more confident with what I was creating for the team.
“I would always recommend to young creators like me to just get as involved as possible with local projects. I have such respect for the Beats Bus and their attitude towards changing youth criminal activity by promoting positivity in order to create change, instead of using the sort of threatening statistical adverts you see posted on bus stops and things like that.”
Adam Storch, Director of INIT Creative, said: “At 17, Alicia Abbott is already among Hull’s most accomplished visual artists. Although she has a wide range of artistic interests and can turn her hand to most things, she told us right at the start that her real passion lies in character design, and this really shines through in this particular piece. When your work has already drawn compliments from Jamie Hewlett (famous for his role in the virtual band Gorillaz), you know you’re doing something right!
“We feel honoured to be able to help play a part in the great work being done by groups like the Beats Bus and organisations such as the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and their Not In Our Community campaign.”
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, Jonathan Evison, said: “Not In Our Community works closely with young people and with partners to develop strong campaign messages and creative resources to raise awareness of child exploitation.
“The music, artwork and production of this music video are first-class and it provides a new tool and mechanism that I am confident will generate conversation and engagement with young people of all ages.”