200,000 students educated on dangers of knife crime
More than 200,000 students in the West Midlands have been
educated about the dangers of knife crime since 2010.
The Precious Lives Project, funded by the Police and Crime
Commissioner David Jamieson, works with young people in schools to
divert them away from youth violence.
Whilst primarily focusing on knife crime, sessions also
cover anti-social behaviour.
As part of the scheme Alison Cope, a mother from Birmingham
whose son, Joshua, was tragically stabbed in September 2013, tours
the regions' schools telling her story. The aim is to warn
youngsters about the dangers of carrying knives.
The sessions aim to reduce youth violence and prevent young
people from becoming offenders or victims of violence.
Since 2014 knife crime has almost doubled.
Praising the excellent work carried out through the Precious
Lives project, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner,
David Jamieson, said: "Teaching our young people about the dangers
of carrying knives is of the utmost importance.
"I firmly believe this project is saving lives.
"The initiative is doing some excellent work. Alison Cope
and PC Rob Pedley are able to reach out to young people at an early
age and steer them away from violence and crime.
"We must all work together to tackle this issue and protect
The scheme reaches out to some primary school aged pupils as
young as 10.
Alison Cope, whose son Joshua Ribera was murdered in 2013,
said: "I aim to educate young people in the West Midlands, not only
about knife crime but on the importance of choices, love and
"I share the life story of my son Joshua and how through
positive choices he achieved many things, but then how another
person's choice ended his life.
"I have received many cards, letters and feedback saying how
the presentation has made people think differently about many
things from carrying a knife to showing love to their
One young person the project reached described the impact of
the session he attended: "The assembly really inspired me and told
me to live and love my life.
"We were told that you don't need a knife to protect
yourself, you need your confidence to walk away and tell
PC Robert Pedley, who set up and runs the project, said:
"Most areas of the UK have seen an increase in knife crime and
young people are telling us they carry a knife to protect
themselves, but the reality is that carrying a knife has
consequences that destroys lives and families.
"It's our goal to change the attitude of a generation by
offering real life information and reduce the attractiveness of
this type of crime".