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Cross the Line campaign finalist in prestigious national awards

30 Nov 2017

A partnership initiative to educate young people about the risks of online extremism was recognised at a national awards ceremony yesterday evening (Wednesday, 28 November).

Spearheaded by Bedfordshire Police, ‘Cross the Line’ is a hard-hitting web app which places the user right at the heart of the action, by using information from the individual’s online personal profiles, alongside video and social media messages.

Since its launch in July, the app has been accessed by more than 26,000 people, and was last night listed as one of just three finalists in the Partnership Marketing Campaign of the Year category at the Drum Network Awards, held in London. The agency which designed the product, Focus Integrated, was put forward along with Bedfordshire Police.

Eastern Regional Prevent Co-ordinator Russ Cole said: “It is fantastic to see this innovative web app gaining recognition on a prestigious national platform, and although Cross the Line did not win the title, it was one of only three campaigns to be shortlisted for the honour.

“This shows the power of partnership working and the fact that Bedfordshire Police is using new digital technology to raise awareness about important issues. The dangers of radicalisation, hate crime and online extremism have never been more prevalent, and as well as using social media to promote Cross the Line, we are also working with other partners and schools to deliver this input to young people both in the Eastern region and further afield.

“We are committed to educating young people to help them make informed choices and help to prevent them from become drawn into extremist ideology.”

Nicole Eve, Digital Account Director at Focus Integrated, added: “Being nominated for this award was a real achievement for the team at Focus. We were already really proud of Cross the Line so having this recognition on a wider scale is fantastic.

“We worked hard, alongside Bedfordshire Police, to ensure the campaign we delivered resonated with young people in the region and across the UK, and conveyed the important messages to them in an engaging way.

“The fact that the judging panel at The Drum Network Awards selected us as a finalist shows that Cross the Line stood out as to them one of the three best campaigns this year, which is a really wonderful feeling.”

The app guides the user along a virtual path which sees them become drawn into the clutches of extremist ideology, before descending into violent hate crime in which they are a suspect. The user is presented with various choices along the journey which have a profound impact on the steps they take and ultimately decide whether they eventually ‘Cross the Line’ into extremist behaviour.

The app is being promoted to young people in the area through social media channels. Those who want to try it out and see if they would ‘Cross the Line’ can go to ‘Cross the Line’ website.

For more information, visit the newly redeveloped Let's Talk About It website. Bedfordshire Police is encouraging anyone with a friend or relative who they feel may be in need of help, or who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, to contact them for support and early intervention on 101, or alternatively contact the national police hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321. Additionally, anyone who experiences hate crime is urged to report the matter to police on 101. Bedfordshire Police has also worked closely with partners to set up a number of third-party reporting centres.

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