Activists against the government’s ‘racist’ #KnifeFree chicken boxes are launching an alternative which teaches customers about their stop and search rights.
The creators behind the ‘stop and search chicken boxes’ say the packaging will help those who are ‘unfairly targeted by the police’ in the practice.
A crowdfunding page for the boxes reads: ‘The Home Office’s campaign is not only patronising, racist and dumb, it is also a shocking waste of funds that could have been spent investing in communities.
‘The rise in violent crime has come after brutal cuts to education and youth and mental health services led by Conservative governments since 2010.’
A graphic showing the information inside the boxes tells customers to use the acronym ‘Go Wisely’ to remember their stop and search rights.
The front of the box then says ‘all cops are boneless’ while the sides read: ‘Don’t be a chicken, know your rights’.
The site adds that the stop and search box is only the beginning of their plans, with ‘Tory cuts and spending’ and ‘police violence’ boxes also in the pipeline.
It says: ‘These aim to bring back the focus of violence in our society back onto the worst perpetrators of it, the state, and contextualise knife crime under the political framework under which it exists.’
Earlier this month, the Home Office announced that they had placed #KnifeFree chicken boxes inside more than 321,000 takeaway shops across England and Wales.
The boxes each contain first person accounts of escaping knife crime and link to a government website with more information.
The shops were individually chosen because research demonstrated that 70 per cent of their customers are aged between 16 and 24, the Home Office said.
Several of the UK’s biggest chicken chains are involved in the scheme, including Morleys, Dixy Chicken and Chicken Cottage.
However, the campaign has repeatedly come under fire having ‘racist’ undertones, with even YouTube star the Chicken Connoisseur calling them out for trying to ‘intersect the black people who kill each other at a chicken shop’.
All City Media Solutions, who created the #KnifeFree boxes, said the campaign was meant to target ‘young people of all races and religions’.
A spokesperson for the agency said: ‘Making the presumption that any one strategy alone, however big or small can tackle an endemic problem such as knife crime is naive at best, and politicising an issue that’s ripping the heart out of this country is misplaced and counterproductive.
‘If even one young vulnerable person is helped by this campaign, this would’ve all been worth it.’
The boxes come just as the government announced an extra 10,000 prison places are being created as part of a new £2,500,000,000 programme to combat crime.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that stop and search powers will also be expanded across the country.
This means police forces across England and Wales will be able to carry out searches in designated areas without authorisation from a senior officer.
Labour’s shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, has already voiced her concerns with the practice, calling it a ‘recipe for unrest’.
Now that @ukhomeoffice have shown their hand we think chicken boxes with information on how to deal with police would be a lot more useful.
— Help us print stop and search chicken boxes (@MobNrg) August 17, 2019
She said: ‘Evidence-based stop and search will always be a vital tool in preventing crime. But random stops have only poisoned police-community relations.’
However, the Home Office said their decision to expand stop and searches was based on ‘initial feedback’ from seven areas undergoing a three-month trial.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘Stop and search works. We hear again and again from police that they need to be empowered.’