A man who was sent to prison for attempted murder has warned scores of teenagers about the dangers of violent crime.
Micquel Wright from Sparkbrook, who has been convicted of attempted murder and bank robbery, was released from prison in 2015, but has since turned his life around.
He is now a national bodybuilding champion with his own business.
The mentoring by Micquel took place at this year’s youth summit on 30th August at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre.
The summit was organised at the request of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson.
The PCC has a £2 million programme of work in place to reduce the levels of violent crime including educational classes in schools, youth workers in A&E and weapon surrender bins placed around the region.
The audience were aged 13 – 25 and heard from a number of guest speakers.
The day was aimed at preventing violence and raising awareness amongst young people that other life choices are out there.
There was also dance and drama performances on show as well as a talk from a violence reduction expert.
Since 2014 knife crime in the West Midlands has nearly doubled. Gun crime has jumped by more than 20%.
The Assistant West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie, said: “This event is a really important part of the work we are doing to reduce youth violence.
“The young people attending have huge ability and promise. It is our job to help them fulfil their potential.
“It is well documented that there has been a rise in violent crime both here in the West Midlands and nationally.
“We can’t arrest our way out of this problem. We know we need to be proactive and help show young people the choices available to them. That is why we have committed to spending £2 million on a wide programme of initiatives designed to reduce violent crime. “
Micquel Wright added: “I’ve made some really bad choices in the past and as a result I’ve had to suffer the consequences of my actions.
“My main motivation now is to prevent young people taking the same route I did.
“Crime is glamourised, but very often the nice cars and clothes are short lived. The reality is most people involved in this lifestyle will either end up dead or in prison.”
The event is funded by the PCC and organised by First Class Legacy. Its spokesman, Nathan Dennis, said: “We had such a successful event last year it inspired us to do the same this year.
“The theme for 2018 is ‘it’s time for change, no more pain, no more violence’.
“It was the perfect opportunity for young people to sit up and listen. To hear how their lives could be affected if they make the wrong choices.”Back to News Archive