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Crime experiences shared with Coventry students to raise awareness around knives

Students in Coventry have heard first-hand about the consequences of knife-crime as part of a series of eye-opening workshops.

People with experience of knife crime, as both victims and offenders, have shared cautionary tales with dozens of Public Service students at Coventry College. The hard-hitting sessions are designed to help communities understand the dangers knives pose.

The Precious Lives project has been running since 2010 after it was set up by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and PC Rob Pedley, a former firearms officer, to highlight the lasting impact that decisions made in the heat of the moment can have on lives.

The sessions, which are now coordinated by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s team, are held in small groups to encourage a personal and emotional connection with the speakers.

The project, which is fully funded by the PCC, Simon Foster, has now reached more than 70,000 school pupils and young people in the region since 2019.

Students were also taught about Stop and Search protocols used by West Midlands Police, including the rights of young people if they are stopped, how searches are conducted, and the reasons for interventions by the Police.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “It’s pleasing to see so many of our young people are getting the message, that carrying a knife can have catastrophic and devastating consequences for young people, their families, friends and the local community.

“If you carry a knife you’re much more likely to become a victim of knife crime and it’s important young people understand that.

“It’s also vital that we equip our young people with the awareness, knowledge and skills needed to respond, if they see one of their peers carrying a weapon.

“Education and prevention is vital, if we are to prevent violence, keep our young people safe and save lives.”

Lizzie Farquhar, Lecturer in Sport & Public Service at Coventry College, said: “We have held these sessions at the college for a number of years now, as we feel it is extremely important for our learners to understand the issues around carrying knives in the hope this information has a direct impact on themselves and their communities.

“The sessions are always incredibly engaging and impactful, and I’d like to thank Natalie and the team for once again imparting their insight to our learners.”

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