Thousands of young people across South Yorkshire have received a specialist input in their curriculum around the dangers of carrying weapons and how to stay safe online.
The two presentations, one of which is the Guns and Knives Takes Lives programme, have now been delivered to a combined total of over 60,000 students.
The initiative was launched by South Yorkshire Police and is presented to schools across the county, for pupils aged between 11-18-years-old.
The presentation highlights the stark dangers of carrying knives and the devastating impact it can have. Using real life case studies, the students look at why people may carry choose to carry offensive weapons, the catastrophic impact this can have and how they can make positive choices to avoid becoming involved in such criminality.
To date, 209 sessions have been delivered to over 31,500 pupils since May 2017.
Chief Officer Stephen Merrett, the Head of the Special Constabulary, who delivers the presentations, said: “We are making a tangible difference with this programme.
“This is a hard-hitting 50-minute presentation and hopefully this level of educational awareness will provide students with the knowledge of how to keep themselves safe.”
Over the last 12-months, the force has seen a 12 per cent reduction in the number of knife related incidents occurring across the county.
In addition to the Guns and Knives Take Lives programme, Project Officers from the Community Safety Department, based at the Lifewise Centre, Hellaby, have also been speaking to pupils about how to stay safe online.
Since January 2018, 175 sessions on safe social media use have been delivered to just under 30,000 students.
The sessions focus on issues such as cyberbullying, offensive comments, sexting, sextortion and revenge porn.
Project Officer Claire France, from the Community Safety Department, said: “These sessions have been welcomed by all of the schools we have delivered them in so far.
“Staying safe on line is incredibly important for people of all ages, but in particular school pupils who may use an array of different social media platforms.
“It’s so important that we educate young people about the consequences of inappropriate social media use and the harsh reality about what can happen if social media is used in this way, but we also want to empower them to make positive choices in their lives and know who to contact for help when things go wrong”.
“We’re really pleased with how the sessions are going so far and look forward to delivering more in the future.”
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