The Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie is supporting the roll out of knife crime workshops across the Dudley Borough.
The ‘Tackling Knife Crime Together’ campaign aims to combat the growing issue of knife crime, by using sports as a positive diversionary.
The sessions target young people aged 8-11 years old and are held in primary schools in Dudley. The workshops aims to open dialogue within the community and raise awareness of knife crime in schools.
The project is ran by Opening Boundaries, a non-profit sporting organisation. The organisation uses various sports as a platform which can engage with people of all races, genders and classes.
The workshops are delivered in partnership with Office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and the Home Office. The project is funded through the Home Office as part of their #KnifeFree campaign.
The sessions include a presentation on staying safe, with a practical sports session to end. The practical workshop teaches young people life skills such as teamwork, respect and discipline.
The Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie, said: “We can’t solve the problem by police enforcement alone. We need to get the message across that our young people are too valuable to risk their lives by carrying a knife.
“They are our future musicians, artists, sportsmen and women, entrepreneurs and role models. We need them”.
Opening Boundaries Project Manager, Farah Ahmed added: “I am keen to demonstrate what we as a community can achieve when we come together. The power of sport helps to drive social change and allows us to live in a safer and more inclusive society.
“We hope the workshops will bring the community together to say ‘no’ to any form of violence. We want to use sport as a positive diversionary which can engage with people of all races, genders and classes.
“Our mission at Opening Boundaries is to lead the way and show how we are Tackling Knife Crime, together.”
Head teacher of Greenfields School, Mr Bravo explained: “At Greenfield, we do our best to prepare all our children to become responsible, proactive citizens, who know the difference between right and wrong and are able to keep themselves safe.
“We are keen to support Farah and help her to highlight and tackle the growing problem of knife crime in partnership with the charity Opening Boundaries and West Midlands Police.
“It’s important that our broader school community unites together to say ‘no’ to any form of violence, alerting our older pupils to the possibility of risk without scaring them unnecessarily.”
The £12,000 of Home Office funding was granted in October 2018 to deliver pilot workshops to 5 primary schools. Monitoring and evaluation of the workshops will take place at the end of March 2019.
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