Gardaí's failing knife crime awareness campaign Bit of a disaster, this. With a name like that, and according to information about the site, it would seem to be aimed at young people. Yet, the site gets lost between that intention and the fact that much of the content is going-through-the-motions general knife crime information.

As reported by the Examiner:

A GOVERNMENT knife crime prevention website aimed at educating young people about of the dangers of knives does not "speak to young people" and has no real practical value.

Gem of a first line: "Carrying a knife is more dangerous than not carrying one." And what kind of thinking leads to having a footnote on the homepage of a site aimed at young people: "1. Please note that statistical information is calculated using a mean average of knife crimes recorded in 2006, 2007 and 2008."

Dr Tony Bates, founding director of Headstrong, a mental health support network for young people, is quoted as saying:

"It is a very empty website and doesn’t seem to do anything or give any information. Telling a young person to go to the Garda if they see someone with a knife is not going to happen. This is not youth-friendly."

The Examiner assesses the Gardaí's attempt at an online campaign: "To date, however, it has garnered virtually no interest on the social networking sites it has set up. The campaign’s Facebook site only has 37 members. On Bebo, the campaign has 256 friends and just four comments from the public, while popular new social network site Twitter reports a meagre 21 ‘followers’. There is no information on any site regarding community meetings or initiatives."

Who is responsible? "According to the Department of Justice, responsibility for the campaign lies solely with Garda.

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