Follow @GAKTL at 4pm today as gun incident is reconstructed on Twitter

At 4pm today, (Tuesday, 12 February, 2013) an armed response to a fictional incident will be played out in real-time on South Yorkshire Police’s armed response team’s Guns and Knives Take Lives Twitter account (https://twitter.com/gaktl).

At 4pm, the first message will be sent, introducing Steve who is a fictional young man about to make the short journey home from his friend’s house. From 4pm (lasting for approximately 20 minutes) you will be able watch as Steve’s movements are played out, culminating in an armed response by South Yorkshire Police’s Firearms Support Group. See the incident unfold by watching the Guns and Knives Take Lives twitter account, https://twitter.com/gaktl, from 4pm today.

Also today, officers from the Force’s Firearms Support Group are visiting Ecclesfield School, Sheffield, to deliver the award-winning Guns and Knives Take Lives presentation.

The Guns and Knives Take Lives initiative is ran by a small team of firearms officers who deliver a hard-hitting anti-gun and knife crime presentation to almost every year 8 year group in South Yorkshire, every academic year.  Earlier this year, the Guns and Knives Take Lives initiative passed the landmark of 100,000 pupils to have experienced the presentation.

The Guns and Knives Take Lives initiative was introduced in 2005 when nearly half of all the firearms incidents attended by South Yorkshire Police’s armed officers involved young people. Most of which involved imitation weapons such BB guns and air rifles. Since then, this percentage has dropped dramatically and in 2012, just 11 per cent of the firearms incidents attended involved young people.

Inspector Rachel Usher said: “The Guns and Knives Take Lives initiative is now into its eighth year and it has made a real impact on the number of young people we deal with, either apprehended with a genuine weapon or messing around with equally dangerous imitation guns.

“This year we reached the landmark of 100,000 pupils to have seen the presentation, which is a massive achievement. The team are always striving to get our message across to more young people and that is why we started using Facebook and Twitter, providing a mixture of insight into the day job and more importantly advice and guidance to young people that hopefully could prevent a moment of stupidity.

“Reconstructing a fictitious incident will be interesting to our followers but comes with a serious message, that guns and knives take lives.”

See the incident unfold by watching the Guns and Knives Take Lives Twitter account, https://twitter.com/gaktl, from 4pm (for approximately 20 minutes on Tuesday, 12 February. You can also follow the team on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/gaktl or visit the website, www.gunsandknivestakelives.com.