01/11/2010

'Choices' Raise Awareness Of Gun And Knife Crime

In a new crime-fighting initiative, which gets underway today, hard-hitting drama and real-life tragedies will be employed to show young people the dangers of carrying guns and knives.

'Choices' is a joint project from the Met's CO19 Specialist Firearms Command and Greenwich and Lewisham Young People's Theatre (GLYPT). Choices will be shown in schools across London and aims to gives 11 to 19 year-olds a real taste of the tragic consequences of gun and knife crime.

The project is an extension of CO19's award-winning Operation Makepeace where officers discuss and show young people real-life footage of armed officers dealing with incidents in the capital. Choices combines this presentation with a new play 'Brothers' by Tunde Euba, which shows how some choices can lead to lives being changed forever.

Families United, which was set up by families who have all been affected by violent crime including the Rob Knox and Jimmy Mizen Foundations, will also speak to young people as part of the programme.

Chief Inspector Rob Atkin, of the Met's Operation Makepeace, said: "We have already learned how effective Operation Makepeace can be and the effect it has on young people when we present it. There is a funeral scene which is very hard-hitting and you literally can't hear a pin drop whenever we show it.

"By combining it with this powerful play and by heartfelt words from Families United, Choices really does show how young lives and all those around them can be ruined by making the choice to carry a gun or knife. Just one wrong decision can destroy their lives forever.

This programme is about making them think carefully now about the issues, so if or when the time comes, they can make the right choice not to carry guns or knives."

Choices is being launched at Sedgehill School in Lewisham, south east London, today. The school welcomes any attempt to inform its pupils and educate them about gun and knife crime.

(BMcN/GK)

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