A project focussing on crime had a dramatic start with emergency services cutting a casualty from a crashed car. The event, led by Prison Me No Way, focussed on crime, its victims and aftermath, including the reality of life behind bars.
Students learned how their behaviour can have far-reaching and fatal repercussions, in regards to driving, drugs, firearms and cyber-offences. The day started when students were told of real life incidents where young people had died after making a split-second decision to drive, either while drunk or during hazardous conditions. In preparation for the reconstruction the Year 9s were given the scenario of a young man who had taken his parents' car out for a drive with a friend before crashing. The driver ran from scene, while the fire service cut his friend free from the wreckage using specialist hydraulic equipment. Although he was given first aid the emergency services were unable to save him. The pain-staking rescue process was described in detail by a member of the fire service.
Afterwards the students attended workshops that explained how the police would conduct their investigation and prosecute the driver, who had been drinking. Local police and prison officers and magistrates all attended the day to answer students’ questions and give them an insight into the judicial process.
Mr Doug Evans, national coordinator of Prison Me No More said: ‘Today is all about crime and the effects of crime on a young person including drug taking and cyber bullying. We are looking at everything that affects young people and trying to give them answers. We are not here to frighten people but trying to give them information. By giving them that information they can make the right decision based on pure facts.
'It is about choices and decisions. It takes two seconds to change somebody’s life. In two seconds you can say no to criminal or anti-social behaviour, say no to taking drugs, say no to cyber-bullying. We are doing crime and safety awareness training every single day of the school year. We cover the whole of the country and have got about two or three hundred fully trained staff who volunteer to take part in these events. The emergency services and prison officers do it on their days off because they care about what happens to young people and want to keep them out of prison.’