We have joined forces with a youth service led by the charity Crimestoppers, to help raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime in Torfaen.
The Fearless service runs free workshops across Gwent for 11-16 year olds on a range of topics including knives and weapons, county lines, gangs and child criminal exploitation.
Their aim is not only to educate young people but also to encourage them to speak out about crime and exploitation. Through fearless.org, young people can give information 100% anonymously.
Ria Gibbs, our community involvement officer, said: “Among some young people, there’s a tendency to think knife crime happens only in big cities like London.
“Working with Rebecca Jerman from Crimestoppers means we’ve been able to use her expertise and my local knowledge to go into secondary schools and projects such as Hales House in Pontypool and The Hwb in Blaenavon, to explain how knife crime is closer to their door than they might think.
“Hitting home this reality to over one hundred young people has made a big impact. They have told us it’s convinced them to never carry a knife or get involved in knife crime because of the possible consequences – and that’s the outcome we wanted to achieve.”
Rebecca Jerman, senior Fearless worker, Crimestoppers, said: “With Ria’s knowledge of the difficulties young people are facing in Torfaen, I feel we have been able to prioritise workshops for those who may be vulnerable and/or at risk.”
“Our prevention workshops aim to reduce the fear around knife crime and empower and educate them to be better informed and feel safer.
”We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback we’ve had from young people, with 99% of those involved stating they would consider using Fearless to report a crime anonymously.”
The pair are hoping to continue their partnership working by giving young people themselves the opportunity to run sessions aimed at showing parents how to spot signs of controlled behaviour in their children.
Anyone who wants further information about Fearless should go to fearless.org.