A knife crime education pack is to be distributed to schools in Milton Keynes to help educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives.
The digital education pack, created with funding from the L&Q Foundation, is made up of four films produced via the Junior Filmmakers film-making programme. It will be hosted on a website dedicated to the project for a period of 12 months.
Marc Tarbit, Commander, Thames Valley Police, said: ‘Knife Crime has a big impact on victims, offenders, families and local communities. It’s really important, therefore, that young people understand the risks of carrying knives. Prevention will always be better than a cure.
"One of the things I think is really good about the Junior Filmmakers project is that it helps young people understand the risks of carrying weapons from the view of young people themselves."
Councillor Lauren Townsend, the Cabinet Member for Public Realm at Milton Keynes Council, said: "The education of young people in regards to knife crime is incredibly important.
"It is really important that young people know how to identify the early signs of exploitation, know how to choose positive friendship groups and positive activities and that they know where they can turn or who they can go to should they think they are starting to get involved in or one of their friends is starting to get involved in something they know they shouldn’t be, such as knife crime, gang activities or meddling in drugs’. The digital education pack has been created for distribution to schools in Milton Keynes.
The digital education pack features:
> A video statement from Supt Marc Tarbit
> A video statement from Cllr Lauren Townsend
> Five films identified as being for primary or secondary schools, so age appropriate
> Teacher training materials which can be used to explore the films and encourage discussion among students about the dangers of knife crime.
> Sign posting information; Schools can also request Junior Filmmakers for a trainer to go to their school and deliver the training from the website.
Nana Oguntola, founder of Junior Filmmakers and creator of the project, said: "I hope that teachers and young people are able to engage effectively with the content on this site and create not just an awareness of crime but a clear understanding on the devastating impact it has on lives and ultimately create a desire in young people to stay as far away from it as possible."
Nana was inspired to initiate the project following the murder of two young teenage boys, aged just 17, in November of 2019. She said she realised that as a mother and a member of the community she had to do something about knife crime.
She decided the best thing to do was to work through Junior Filmmakers where she could combine filmmaking with young people to create a knife crime project to highlight the problem and hopefully bring about change with young people.
She added: "The Junior Filmmakers Knife Crime Film Project is a result of that decision. The aims of the project were to engage young people in understanding the dangers of knife crime, create youth ambassadors who are able to champion issues relating to the reduction of knives through their films and reduce knife crime by providing an understanding of its dangers to young people."