Tackling knife crime together in Dudley

This week, PC Andy Peters – a dedicated Young Persons officer based in Dudley – visited Greenfield Primary School in Stourbridge as part of the national #KnifeFree campaign.

It was the first session of its kind in the region after the Home Office granted £12,000 funding in their mission to combat the national surge in knife crime.

The initiative for 8-11 year old’s aims to combat the growing issue of violence, by using sports as a positive outlet.

Yesterday’s session included a presentation on staying safe, with a practical sports session to end.

The workshop, ran by Opening Boundaries, a non-profit sporting organisation in conjunction with West Midlands Police, teaches young people life skills such as teamwork, respect and discipline.

The pilot scheme, called ‘Tackling Knife Crime Together’ is being delivered to five schools in the region.

Tackling Knife Crime session in progress

Policing isn’t just about cuffs and arrests

Detective Superintendent Ian Parnell, West Midlands Police lead for knife crime, explained:

“We’re already in every secondary school in the West Midlands as part of our own Life or Knife campaign launched last summer, but early intervention and prevention is vital to avert serious violence later down the line.

“These children are our future leaders, engineers, and role models. We need them. It’s amazing that we’ve been granted funding by the Home Office to take part in this pioneering initiative in conjunction with Opening Boundaries charity.”

Presentation title page

The friendly, community side to policing

Monitoring and evaluation of the workshops will take place at the end of March 2019, with a view to being rolled out further afield in the future.

PC Andy Peters who delivered yesterday’s session, said:

“We must find new, innovative ways to engage young people and I have no doubt that this type of collaboration and partnership is what’s needed.

“Throughout yesterday’s session the pupils were really engaged, which was inspiring to see. I have no doubt the project made a lasting, positive impression which will benefit them as they move up to secondary school and beyond.”

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