Will you have a #SoberingMoment as PSNI and SERC students launch hard-hitting campaign?
The first in the series of four short films, entitled 'Brothers'
The PSNI is encouraging young people to think carefully about the choices they make while under the influence of alcohol through a unique new social media campaign created in partnership with local students.
The #SoberingMoment initiative, which is being launched today by Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, alongside Justice Minister Clare Sugden, comprises four short videos designed, acted and produced by students from South Eastern Regional College’s Performing and Creative Arts courses in partnership with the PSNI. The films are all linked by the common theme of drinking alcohol at a house party but highlight four separate important issues: role model influences; domestic abuse; anti-social behaviour and drink driving.
They will be rolled out across the PSNI’s social media channels during this week, with each one being showcased for a day before being used on a regular basis as part of the organisation’s alcohol awareness messaging.
ACC Stephen Martin said: “This initiative is an excellent example of police having meaningful engagement with young people and working together to produce a campaign with hard-hitting messages that will actually resonate with that particular age group.
“While the messages are not new, the students identified these issues as being important within their peer group and advised ways of ensuring they hit home. The successful concepts, which were selected by a panel of PSNI officers, staff and industry experts, were then taken forward by the young people who have spent months researching and producing these high quality videos, all of which convey a thought-provoking – or sobering - message.
“I would like to commend these very talented students on their professional approach to this project, their dedication and hard work, which has resulted in four highly polished videos which the PSNI is proud to showcase as its new social media campaign, #SoberingMoment. This should also be a proud moment for the young people as their films will be viewed by our ever increasing social media following which currently stands at over 650,000 people – a fantastic addition for their CVs.
"Such is the success of this pilot that plans are already in progress to continue the campaign next year with students in the Eastern and Northern campuses who, after consultation with the local District Commanders, will focus on antisocial behaviour and drugs respectively. This really is an excellent example of Policing With the Community which goes right to the heart of our core principle of Keeping People Safe.”
Liz Young, Head of PSNI Corporate Communications, said: “Collaborative working reaps benefits for everyone involved and #SoberingMoment is a perfect example of industry experts working with the audience they are trying to reach to ensure that the final product is both meaningful and engaging.
“It has been a great opportunity for the PSNI to connect with young people, encourage them to think of the potentially life-changing consequences that their actions or decisions taken at a moment in time can have, and understand the issues important to them. The exciting initiative was devised and driven by my department as part of our role in Keeping People Safe. My team also provided support to the young people during the creation and development of the films, but credit must go to the students whose filming, production and acting skills have very much come to the fore.
“This has been a valuable initiative for all involved. It has not only resulted in four professional productions with hard-hitting messages created by young people for young people, it has also established the grounds for a continued partnership between PSNI Corporate Communications and the Regional College and its students. In fact plans are already in place to further develop the campaign in the next academic year and onwards. This is just the start!”
L-R Shannon Duffie, Northern Ireland Justice Minister - Claire Sugden MLA, Donal Stafford, Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board - Anne Connolly, PSNI Head of Corporate Communications - Liz Young, Kahris Edwards, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, SERC Deputy Head of the School of Performing & Creative Arts - Liane Radcliffe.
Justice Minister Claire Sugden said: “I welcome this initiative from the PSNI, which highlights how the misuse of alcohol can fuel behaviour that leads to long term consequences for young people. The students involved have worked hard to produce these hard-hitting and challenging messages and I applaud them for their efforts; their work shows an imaginative approach to learning and helps develop their skills while contributing in a very positive way to wider society.”
SERC Course Co-ordinator Liane Radcliffe commented: “The #SoberingMoment campaign has been a fantastic opportunity for the students to collaborate with the PSNI. The experience gained by the students in working for a real-world client is invaluable for not only their personal development, but for their employment perspectives in post-academic life. From the students’ perspective, it was crucial that they developed the film concepts independently as it meant that they could be tailored to their demographic, meaning that it would make a greater impact if the scenarios felt realistic and relatable to the young people.”
Speaking about the films developed, Board Chair Anne Connolly said: “Police routinely see the impact of alcohol in responding to calls for help and dealing with incidents in our communities. These thoughtful and thought provoking short films bring focus to some issues where the consequences of drinking alcohol can have very detrimental and sometimes life changing impacts.
“This initiative has enabled practical learning and I hope the success of this collaboration brings benefits to other issues and projects in the future.”