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In this week's issue... Upwardly mobile The founders of coffee and brunch chain Caravan are on the move, taking their business model to new Chelsea restaurant Vardo
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Home Office criticised for chicken shop anti-knife crime messages

15 August 2019 by
Home Office criticised for chicken shop anti-knife crime messages

The Home Office has enlisted chicken shops across the UK to carry advertising to challenge the carrying of knives amid controversy over the department's deployment of the messaging.

The government has distributed some 321,000 fried chicken boxes across 210 shops across England and Wales, including Morley's, Chicken Cottage and Dixy Chicken.

Each box depicts real-life stories of young people who chose to stop carrying a knife and instead pursued positive activities, according to a Home Office statement.

The policy has been hit by criticism from across the political spectrum, with figures on the right saying the approach is too soft on crime, and the left accusing the Home Office of playing into racial stereotypes regarding black people.

Former Metropolitan Police chief superintendent Dal Babu told the BBC: "Why didn't they go to McDonald's? Why didn't they go to the fish and chip shop? They've gone to chicken shops because it fulfils a stereotype." While Tottenham MP David Lammy tweeted: "Is this some kind of joke?! Why have you chosen chicken shops? What's next, knife-free watermelons?"

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said: "These chicken boxes will bring home to thousands of young people the tragic consequences of carrying a knife and challenge the idea that it makes you safer.

"The government is doing everything it can to tackle the senseless violence that is traumatising communities and claiming too many young lives, including bolstering the police's ranks with 20,000 new police officers on our streets."

Morley's managing director Shan Selvendran added: "Morley's are proud to support the #knifefree campaign. We have been saddened by the recent increase in knife crime. We want to promote being knife-free by using custom chicken boxes to deliver the message and start conversations amongst all of our customers."

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