Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Students help police express crime reduction message

SIXTH form students of the West Somerset Community College, Minehead, have been working with police to help find ways to put across crime reduction messages to the local community.
It was part of the teenagers’ public services course as they looked at ways of solving problems such as reducing theft from sports changing rooms.
Their ideas included crime prevention pop-ups on school computers, new crime reduction posters, and better lockers.
The course also involved working with West Somerset Council and the West Somerset Crime Prevention Panel.
Minehead Police crime prevention officer PC Charlie Fitzpatrick, who organised the initiative, said: “The council, ourselves, and the crime prevention panel were very impressed with the level of work carried out by the students.
“They were given a real problem to research and solve and their ideas were innovative and positive.
“The school has seen a small number of thefts from changing rooms, but we are hopeful the number will be reduced following the students’ ideas and the crime reduction advice we have been able to give them.
“I am hoping this will be a regular part of the public services course and that in future we can give them some other local issues to look at.”
Council community safety officer Pete Hughes said: “These projects are an excellent example of young people taking ownership of an issue that affects them and other users of the sports facilities.
“Their breadth of thought to identify ways of stopping these thefts is to be commended.”
One student, Emma Taylor, said: “The project was a fun and interesting. It is amazing to think that we as a group have come up with something to reduce the crime.”
Another of the students, Emily Ketchen, said: “The project enabled us to work closely with the local police on a subject that directly affects us as a college and we hope our ideas can be taken forward and put into action, benefiting the community as a whole.”
  • Our photograph shows Minehead Police Inspector Carol Pearce (front, centre) and PC Charlie Fitzpatrick, with council community safety officer Pete Hughes (front, second from left), college principal Nick Swann (front, right) and some of the staff and students involved in the course. Photo submitted.

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