Full steam ahead in PFCC work to create safer communities and bring down knife crime
A busy engagement schedule aiming to create safer communities and bring down knife crime in Essex is being tackled by the PFCC.
Yesterday (Thursday), Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, spoke at the Active Essex Foundation Youth Crime Prevention Conference, which took place at the Colchester Community Stadium, home to Colchester United.
Speaking at the conference Mr Hirst highlighted the role of the PFCC in bringing together community organisations to reduce crime and protect young people.
Mr Hirst said: “Our approach is working, the very latest figures show all crime in Essex is down by 5.1% year on year and also show an 11.3% reduction in serious violence. I’m pleased with this success but I will keep working to bring those figures down even more.”
“There are many organisations out there in the community that can really help us all in our efforts to reduce crime, violent crime and prevent young people from being exploited and becoming involved criminality.
“We need to harness this incredible strength in our community and support our organisations in any way we can, and they will help us change lives for the better.”
The PFCC highlighted the Changing Lives project, part funded by the PFCC and the Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU) that has helped reach over 1,000 young people in Harlow, providing a range of different sporting activities, educational assemblies, sports camps, mentoring sessions and 1:1 workshop.
Among the groups presenting at the conference were the 1Up project in Basildon, recently visited by Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (DPFCC) Jane Gardner. 1Up provides intensive sport and music activity-based intervention to young people in the town.
On Wednesday, Jane Gardner, DPFCC, visited The Stanway School, Colchester, to view a performance play It’s About Your Son. This play, aiming to educate young people about the dangers of knives, will be touring all schools in Colchester district.
Ms Gardener said: “I hope this drama can be a platform for Colchester schools to help them educate about knife harm and the dangers of carrying a knife. They are difficult conversations to have, but our young people have told us they are concerned about knife crime and now we must listen. We need to educate our young people and communities about the realities of knife crime and stop them from picking up a knife.”
Also Yesterday (Thursday), Jane Gardner, DPFCC, attended a performance of Stronger Together, a play by Theatre Inspiring Change, funded by Colchester CSP and partners including PFCC as part of Safer Streets funding. The event showcased theatre work created to tackle and challenge violence against women and girls.
Tomorrow (Saturday) PFCC Roger Hirst will be attending the closing ceremony of the Knife Angel sculpture in Harlow, before it travels to Colchester. The 29ft sculpture contains 1,000 knives which were all handed in to knife amnesty bins in Essex.
Each town the Knife Angel sculpture visits commits to a month-long programme of anti-knife violence education.