HAMPSHIRE has been chosen as one of 15 nationwide knife crime hotspots to benefit from a hard-hitting crackdown.

Knife offenders will be shown graphic images of stab wounds in an effort to discourage them from reoffending.

Under the Knife Crime Prevention Programme young offenders will also meet victims of knife crime and ex-criminals who have turned their lives around. The scheme, run jointly by the Home Office and Youth Justice Boards in England and Wales, will offer anger management courses and lectures by police on the law on knives too.

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Home Office minister David Hanson said he hoped it would help turn youngsters away from criminal gangs.

He said: “This course brings young people face to face with the consequences of knife crime whatever the reason they carried the knife in the first place.

“These young people could be on the brink of entering serious crime or gang lifestyles, by bringing together the police, local authorities and ex-offenders in this way we hope to prevent this happening and give these young people back their futures.”

The latest crackdown comes after a new campaign was launched urging Southampton schoolchildren to name and shame classmates who carry knives by texting their name to police. Every child over the age of 11 will be handed information on how they can help against the war on knife crime in the city as part of the scheme called ‘Game Over 4 Knives,’ as previously reported by the Daily Echo.

The scheme has been extended to areas covered by the Tackling Knives Action Programme.