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Red carpet and the big screen for Stevenage students

17 Jan 2019

Educating young people around the dangers of knife crime was top of the bill at Cineworld this afternoon (Thursday January 17), as children from five senior schools in the town took to the red carpet to see their work on the big screen.

The students from The Barclay School, Barnwell School, Marriotts School, The Thomas Alleyne Academy and The John Henry Newman Catholic School, had made the films as part of Operation Edge – an anti-knife crime initiative devised by Neighbourhood Inspector Simon Tabert.

As part of Operation Edge every senior school in Stevenage was invited to take part in a film making competition. The teams of students were tasked to make an educational film no longer than five minutes which could then be shown to the wider school community as a means of informing students about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

A panel of judges, which included Film Composer David Arnold and actor Kevin Whately, viewed and scored each film and the winners were announced at the end of the red carpet screening event.

The team from Marriotts School supplied the winning entry which the judges described as a thought provoking and dramatic film, cinematically shot with well introduced characters and a powerful ending - capturing the impact and unintended consequences of carrying a knife.

The runner up was the film produced by the students at Barnwell School with their ‘visually gripping style of film making, clear and well produced, telling the story in a contemporary fashion through the use of engaging on screen graphics’.

Commenting on the initiative Inspector Simon Tabert said: “We wanted to do something where the students were the ones spreading the message to their peers. We have done a lot of work in the town around knife crime. We have taken part in amnesties, run operations using our knife arches, carried out regular weapon sweeps in hot spot areas, made arrests and delivered special educational programmes in local schools. But everyone has a part to play in keeping our communities safe and one of the most influential groups are the young people themselves.

“Their messages will be some of the strongest and I am delighted with the enthusiasm shown by the schools who embraced this project. The judges were impressed by the standard of all of the entries and I hope we will be able to use these films further as part of our ongoing work to tackle knife crime.”

Chief inspector for Stevenage Alicia Shaw added: “This is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership working. I would like to thank the schools for their enthusiasm, Cineworld for creating an amazing atmosphere through the use of their facilities, and the local councillors for their donations which funded the project. The standard of film making was exceptionally high, and the students portrayed powerful on-screen messages.”

 

Winners: Marriotts School
Winners: Marriotts School

Further reading

Borehamwood pupils learn about the consequences of knife crime

Over 200 young people at Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood were given an insight into the dangers and consequences of knife crime on Wednesday (February 6). The event for Year 9 pupils was hosted by the Borehamwood and Elstree Safer Neighbourhood Team with Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, St Giles Trust and The Josh Hanson Trust*. The day received funding from Hertsmere Borough Council. PCSO Callum Ellis said: “Although we don’t have a problem with knife crime in Borehamwood, we felt it was important to arm our young people with the real consequences about knife crime. “The pupils were spoken to by Tracey Hanson whose son died in a stabbing three years ago. She shared her heart felt story and there was not a dry eye in the room. They were then joined by Patrick Boyce who told his story. His son was stabbed and survived, but now needs 24/7 care, he cannot speak or move and now lives in a hospice. I think these real stories had a big impact on the young people and we hope it may, quite literally, save a life.” The students were given a lesson in emergency first aid from Borehamwood fire officers. The St Giles Trust ended the day talking about county drug lines, gangs and grooming. Loran Kingston, Community Safety Intervention Officer for Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “We are working with our police colleagues and others in the Community Safety Partnership to try to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and getting involved in county lines and gangs across the borough. “We want our young people to be able to make informed decisions about what they are getting involve in which can have devastating consequences. The young people were encouraged to talk to their friends, parents, teachers or even the police about their concerns and they were reminded that it is never ok to carry a knife. “Anyone can report their concerns anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.” *St Giles Trust is a charity helping people facing severe disadvantage to find jobs, homes and the right support they need. The Josh Hanson Charitable Trust aims to promote knife crime awareness to children and young adults.

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