Upbeat message on crime

March 26 2015

WHAT would you do if you witnessed conflict in the street? Children, who recently took part in a unique project about reporting negative issues in their community, would recommend calling Crimestoppers.

WHAT would you do if you witnessed conflict in the street? Children, who recently took part in a unique project about reporting negative issues in their community, would recommend calling Crimestoppers.

The initiative, which is the first of its kind in the UK, involved over 200 children from St Barnabas Primary in Montpelier, St Werburghs Primary, and Millpond Primary in Baptist Mills.

Since September, the pupils have been learning about independent charity Crimestoppers, which allows people to anonymously pass on information about crime.

The six-month project – funded by Percy Hoskins Trust – culminated in a show at Colston Hall, where children showcased their learnings in an upbeat and informative performance. Over 100 people attended, including parents, teachers and VIPs.

West Country Crimestoppers, in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police, commissioned local drama group and education provider Unique Voice to work on 'What Would You Do?'.

The project aims to raise young people's awareness about street conflict and negative influences that may exist in their communities, and to help them work though coping strategies and know who to turn to in times of trouble.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Alastair and Sarah Watson, attended the show and praised the children for their hard work.

They said that the performance provided a “great example of how to help our local communities keep safe”.

Krystal Keeley, co-director of Unique Voice said: “Many of the young people involved are from areas that have strong street conflicts and negative influences so it was a very valuable experience for them to perform and express their creativity on sensitive themes.

“We are in talks with Crimestoppers about expanding the project in to more communities.”

West Country Crimestoppers regional manager Gordon Chisholm said: “This has been a great initiative. With the support of the partners involved, these young people have learned to face conflict through drama that will no doubt help them in some way in the future.

“I’d like to thank the Percy Hoskins Trust, who provided the majority of the funding for this project, and the other partners including the local police and the schools, without all of this support the project would not have happened.”

Photo taken by Freia Turland