Step Back premier a poignant lesson to youths amidst spate of stabbings

This weekend as a spate of attacks raged across parts of South London, leaving one person dead and at least 10 injured, Leo Powell premiered his short film Step Back, a drama about youth violence which has been endorsed by the Metropolitan Police. Its director, Leo Powell, hopes to screen in schools around the country as a warning to young people of the consequences of using a knife. The poignant drama has never been more relevant as knife crime in the city’s capital has reached endemic proportions.  Describing the film, Powell has said,

“I hope the film can be used as a resource up and down the country to educate young people and adults on the dangers of knife crime and to also demonstrate the importance and power in the choices that we make.”

The film, produced by Little Drops Productions, follows the life of Marcus (played by Top Boy’s Xavien Russell,) a 16-year-old boy whose life is turned upside down after he fatally stabs someone. Leo Powell’s Step Back, directed by Richard Kattah, comes at a pivotal point for the youth of England and Wales, where knife crime has risen to record highs since records began in 2011. Describing the film, Detective Chief Superintendent Treena Fleming, Commander of Haringey and Enfield, said

“This video is a powerful reminder of the tragic consequences of carrying a knife- both for the victim and perpetrator. We want people to watch Step Back and understand that being involved in gangs and arming yourself with a knife quite literally ruins lives.”

Creator of Step Back, Leo Powell.

The creator of Step Back, head of year and County Lines trainer and facilitator Leo Powell from Enfield, hopes that the film can be used as an educational resource to educate children about the life-altering repercussions of using a knife. The origins of Step Back are derived from Leo’s work with young people which began in 2010. Leo’s work in the area of Country Lines has gained huge traction, where he has been awarded funding through MOPAC, and the Mayor of London’s Young Londoner’s Fund. In 2019, Leo took on the role as mentor in Feltham Youth Young Offender’s Institute working for the organisation Roadlight, where he worked with the most challenging high-risk offenders in the country. This film is inspired by the work that Leo has been doing with young people, where he has told the story of Marcus at a number of sessions and has made an impact on listeners who encouraged Leo to turn his story into a film.

“Any resource which highlights the stark reality of knife crime and raises awareness can only be a positive, and we hope this film resonates with our youngsters and drives them to make more informed life choices.”

Said Detective Chief Superintendent Treena Fleming,

“We will be working closely with Leo once this video is complete to identify opportunities for the film to be used during workshops to help draw out vital conversations about knife crime. “If you are concerned about someone you know who may be carrying a knife, help and support is available online via KnifeFree. You can also contact the police; call Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111; or visit Fearless.”

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