Our youth service, Fearless, has been talking to Suffolk school children about knives, violence and drugs gangs in a bid to make them Fearless against crime.
Workshops were held with 11-17 year olds at schools in Lowestoft and Sudbury during November with the help of Junior Smart, from the St Giles Trust.
Junior, an ex-offender who served a jail sentence for drug offences, talked about his own experiences and highlighted the choices that are open to those who may experience crime.
“Many children who are either victims or know whose is responsible for the criminal activity, like knife crime, violence or drugs are often very reluctant to go to the police, but they should feel they can give vital information to someone.
“They can do this completely anonymously through the Fearless website www.fearless.org or by calling 0800 555 111.
“We never ask for your name and no personal details are taken, calls are not recorded, calls/online forms cannot be traced and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police”.
- Antonia Litten, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestoppers
“The students got involved and enjoyed the experience, and I think will have taken a great deal away from it. Several of my colleagues were also impressed with the event and commented on it. Thank you again Fearless and Junior from St Giles Trust.”
- Mr Nigel Brown, Head of House/UCAS and SMSC co-ordinator at Ormiston Sudbury Academy
Challenging the labels of 'snitch' and 'grass'
The Fearless workshops have been funded by Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire Rescue Service.
“Although we don’t have a significant problem with gangs in Suffolk, we are concerned that Children don’t always want to tell the police, a teacher or their parents if they have information about drug dealing, youth violence and knife crime.
“The fear of a criminal finding out that you have gone to the Police and being given the label of “snitch” or “grass” can prevent that child every saying a word. www.fearless.org removes that concern and gives children that safe alternative to reporting crime in their community”.
- Suffolk Police’s Chief Inspector Sarah Shrubshall
“We want our young people to feel empowered to stand up to crime and speak out if they have information or concerns about crime. This can help to make our Suffolk schools and community a safer place”.
- Area Commander Ian Bowell, Suffolk Fire and Rescue