Clear Channel’s AI-powered screen raises knife crime awareness

Striking digital screen warns of knife danger in BCP

10 May 2024 / News, Portfolio
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter
Members of BCP council in Bournemouth, during the day, in front of a digital screen displaying the Ben Kinsella campaign messaging

An innovative, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered digital screen at a bus shelter in Bournemouth is raising awareness of the dangers of knife crime.

Whenever an ambulance passes by the screen, the vehicle’s siren prompts AI technology to display heartfelt messages, signifying the association between the sound of an ambulance siren and a mother’s worry her child could be in danger.

The emotional messages, resembling texts received on a smartphone, contain genuine conversations reflecting the panicked concerns of parents. They underscore the broader consequences of knife crime, for those directly affected and left behind.

As part of the ongoing SaferBCP Knife Crime Awareness campaign, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council is working with Clear Channel UK and M&C Saatchi London to operate the highly emotive display, which is located at a bus shelter on Castle Lane West, near to Bournemouth Hospital.

Development for the project began in 2023 when Clear Channel and M&C Saatchi London collaborated with Creative Technologist, Arthur Tindsley, to develop an innovative machine-learning system that trained to learn and detect what an ambulance siren sounds like.

Making its original debut in London, the campaign was produced in partnership with the Ben Kinsella Trust, an educational charity formed in 2008 which aims to educate people on the impacts of knife crime following the tragic murder of Ben Kinsella, aged 16, who was stabbed in London the same year.

Councillor Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services at BCP Council, said: 

“This eye-opening initiative is yet another activity within our Knife Crime Awareness campaign which we hope will raise awareness amongst young people and help them to fully understand the devastating consequences of knife crime. 

“Whilst Dorset remains a safe place to live with one of the lowest knife crime rates in the UK, we all must remain fully committed to ending knife crime entirely across our three towns.

“We continue to work alongside our partners, including the Police Crime Commissioner and those at Dorset Police, to ensure we are taking proactive steps to address this serious issue.” 

Louise Stubbings, Partnerships and Creative Director at Clear Channel, said:

“This campaign reflects our dedication to leveraging advertising as a platform for good and backing initiatives that prioritise community safety and well-being. We're proud to witness the revival of this impactful initiative, knowing how impactful a simple digital screen at a bus shelter can be in actively engaging and informing the public about this critical issue. It goes beyond advertising; it's about actively shaping our communities and safeguarding the welfare of our youth.”

The advertising screen will remain operational until Sunday 19 May.   

The Knife Crime Awareness campaign follows the tragic death of Cameron Hamilton last summer. Cameron, 18, was fatally stabbed in Bournemouth Square following an altercation on a night out – an event that not only changed the lives of his family and friends but highlighted the dangers posed by young people carrying knives.

The campaign, supported by Cameron’s grandmother, Tracy Jose, seeks to highlight the importance of awareness and education about knife crime, as well as empowering parents and young people to have proactive conversations to reduce the risk of knives.