Fleetwood Town Community Trust are set to embark on an exciting new project to reduce knife crime in the local area thanks to a grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire.
The police have recently installed knife bins in Blackpool and Fleetwood to give people a safe place to dispose unwanted knives, but is this enough to deal with the underlying drivers of the violence?
The Lives Not Knives project aims is to identify the underlying issues faced by children and young people by addressing the root causes and drivers of knife crime.
Using a trauma informed approach, the Community Trust will deliver a programme which will support early action and that will create long-term changes for young people that face challenges on a daily basis.
Young people will also be given a voice which, with the support of the Community Trust, will contribute towards a step change in their behaviour and attitude and which may also change the way the public and voluntary sectors support this particular cohort.
The Community Trust will deliver this programme in local primary and high schools through educational workshops which explore themes such as why people carry knives, the effects of knife and drugs within our community, staying out of trouble, tools for becoming a more responsible citizen, and more.
Through interactive activities and roleplay, The Community Trust will also build young people’s skills and confidence to cope with peer pressure and make the right choices, giving children opportunities to practice techniques to improve their mental health and learn how to avoid and resolve conflict, manage anger and communicate.
Matt Hilton, Chief Executive of the Community Trust, said:
“This project is not just about engaging with hard to reach young people, it is also about working together with partners from community, safety and criminal justice to deliver clear outcomes and improvements within our community.
“As well as reducing crime rates within the local area, we’re hoping that this initiative will help disadvantaged young people reach their full potential in all areas of life and become valued members of their local community.
“We know from past experience that when working with young people that if we give them a purpose, a team spirit, then responsibility and good behaviour follows, which in turn can lead to a strong focus on citizenship and supporting those that are in need within our own community.
“Young people participating within our project will therefore be encouraged to give valuable skills back to their community in a positive way which will help to build a stronger community with more active citizens working together to tackle their own problems.”
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to invest into projects that will help tackle the cycle of knife crime and serious violence across Lancashire through diversionary and targeted interventions.
“I fully support the ‘public health’ approach to violent crime. We continue to lose too many young lives to knife crime and serious violence and it’s crucial that all parts of our society work together to tackle it head-on and make our communities safer, which is a key priority in my Police and Crim Plan.
“Policing alone cannot prevent people offending and that is why I continue to support initiatives that work to move people away from a life of crime and tackle the underlying issues that often cause people to offend.
“It is only by working together across all parts of society and targeted interventions which support the work our officers do around the clock to keep us safe, that we will address this really important issue.”
Lives Not Knives will be rolled out in local schools from 1st April. If you would like any further information about this initiative, please contact Primary and Secondary School Education Manager, Ash Moreau, on Ashley.Moreau@fleetwoodtownfc.com.