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Milton Keynes College students’ emotional performance on knife crime

Milton Keynes College students have devised, planned and performed a powerful piece of drama as part of the month-long focus on knife crime in Milton Keynes.  The students were watched by audiences at the College comprising friends and family, staff and local police officers.

“Broken: the sad truth of knife crime,” has been devised by the College’s Level Three Performing Arts students after staff were approached by an officer at Thames Valley Police to contribute to the city’s month of action against violence. Other initiatives taking place this month include the hosting of the Knife Angel, which is currently located outside Stadium MK.

Thames Valley Police were heavily involved in the project, with local police officers coming into the College to give students insights on different police processes surrounding incidents of knife crime, to support students with telling their story in an authentic way.

Local neighbourhood officer PC Nina Earls who initiated this project, said: “I have seen first-hand the impact that knife crime has on individuals, their families and their friends, so I was passionate about working with MK College on this project as part of the month of action against violence in the city.

“Education plays a huge part in preventing knife crime in the long-term but is by no means the only solution. We know that young people are disproportionately affected by violence and the students here have been able to use their own perspectives and ideas to creatively deliver these serious anti-violence messages to others in their age group who may be involved in knife crime or are on the fringes of criminality.

“The month of action against violence here in Milton Keynes and the hosting of the knife angel is all about bringing the community together and it’s great that the College and students were so keen to get involved. It’s been great to work with the team and I’m really proud to see the result of all their hard work.”

Nelly Azeez, a Performing Arts student at Milton Keynes College, said: “When we heard about the project, we all really wanted to show the ripple effect of knife crime on the whole community and the impact that it has beyond the news coverage on TV or social media. It was important to us that we humanised the people involved in and affected by this issue.

“Despite the difficult subject matter, it was a fantastic project to be involved in and we’ve all learned so much. For instance, I composed some of the music accompanying the piece and we’ve been learning all about the different elements needed to make a performance happen. I hope that this piece shows that knife crime is a complex issue and we can only tackle it by working together.”

Colin Bloxham, Performing Arts Course Team Leader at Milton Keynes College, added: “We’re so proud to have been asked to take part in the month of action on knife crime. It’s an issue that many of our learners have been directly or indirectly affected by and they’ve done an amazing job in taking the theme and weaving it into this emotive and impactful performance piece.

“The support from Thames Valley Police has been invaluable; learning about the police’s perspective on knife crime has meant their piece is well-rounded and looks at this issue from all angles. We’re very proud of our students for taking part in this incredibly important moment for our city.”

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