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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has awarded over £3,500 to a community project to help divert young people away from gangs and violent crime.

The project will be delivered to students at Broadway Academy and City Academy in Birmingham over six weeks.

David Jamieson is using money seized from criminals to pay for the diversionary activity launched by DATS TV Positive Social Action in the North Birmingham area.

The grant is going towards providing workshops for schools so that the students can develop their own campaigns to highlight the issues that young people are facing.

The West Midlands has seen a large rise in knife crime and the initiative aims to change the way young people view gang culture and violence.

The PCC has provided over £3,500 to the project. The money comes from the Active Citizen Fund which is paid for by money seized from criminals. The funding cannot be spent on recruiting officers. Communities can bid for the cash all year round if they believe they have a project which can reduce crime. This year, the fund has £710,734 in 2019/20 which will be allocated to groups from Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Solihull.

The Positive Social Action programme examines the glamorisation of gang culture and knife crime and tear away the illusion of why young people find gangs appealing.

The scheme aims to give young people a voice in their local community and will support them to develop a campaign on issues that matter to them most. The campaigns will use music, social media, posters, and visual content to deliver a positive message to others.

DATS TV hopes to engage with more young people and expand the programme to other schools in Birmingham.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “By tearing away the illusions and glamorisation of knife and gang crime this project is able to show that young people are able to make a positive difference in their local communities.

“It supports young people to develop a campaign on issues that they feel affect them most which delivers positive message.

“This project will inspire more young people to become part of the solution to tackling violent crime and will create more awareness on the issues that they face.”

Simeon Moore CEO of DATS TV said: “The purpose of this project is to show young people that they can make a positive difference in their community.

“The Positive Social Action project is working to change the way young people think and divert them away from gangs and knife crime.”

Miss K Slater Headteacher of City Academy Birmingham said: “”Young people today face many challenges, it is vital that we support them in making good decisions.

“At City Academy Birmingham, student safety is paramount and we continually work with external agencies to support our students.

“This project has been vital in engaging our students in key local and national issues that could affect them and in helping them keep themselves safe.”

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