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Thursday, July 27, 2017

West Lancashire film about gangs to go county-wide

A film starring West Lancashire teenagers that warns young people about the dangers of getting involved in gang culture is to be shown in schools all over the County.

‘Crossing the Line’ shows the risks and consequences of joining organised crime gangs, and aims to discourage young people from getting involved in crime and gang culture.

The original idea for a film came after a meeting between West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership (WLCSP) and Detective Superintendent Simon Giles, to discuss new and innovative ways of engaging with young people on these themes.

WLCSP commissioned the Artz Centre in Birch Green to script and produce the film, and funding was provided by the Office of the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner. The film has been shown to pupils in schools across West Lancashire over the past 12 months. Now Lancashire Police are planning to show it in schools across the county.

Approximately 1,500 pupils have received the education package during this academic year and we will continue to deliver the project in the next academic year through the Police Early Action Team to reach as many young people as possible.

Detective Chief Superintendent Susannah Clarke from Lancashire Police said: “It is vitally important that we seek to protect and support young people who are vulnerable to becoming involved with street gangs and organised criminality. The cast and crew on ‘Crossing the Line’ can be very proud of what they have produced and the film has been very well received in schools across West Lancashire. We believe it will be a great success throughout the county and the important messages it contains will resonate with young people.”

Dave Tilleray, Chairman of West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, said: “We are very grateful to Mark Ashton and his talented team at the Artz Centre for producing an excellent tool for engaging young people on the dangers of organised crime. The team included a fantastic cast of young people from West Lancashire.

Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety, said: “I am delighted that the police are looking to take the film into schools across Lancashire. Hopefully this will ensure teenagers and even younger children are more informed on this subject and to deter them away from becoming involved in organised crime.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I am delighted that this film is going to be rolled out across the rest of the county after such positive responses in the local area and a youth event hosted in partnership with Lancashire Constabulary.

"One of my key priorities under the police and crime plan is stopping people getting involved in crime and we know that this prevention work has most impact when we engage with people early on.

"I was really pleased to support this film where young people have played a key role in its creation, helping others understand the devastating consequences of getting involved in crime. The more young people who are able to access this innovative resource the better."

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools said: "It is a good idea to give young people in all Lancashire schools the chance to see this film.

"It is important to remember that it isn't only the young person who is directly involved that is affected, but their friends and family members are too.

"Hopefully young people will get the message that they don't have to be involved in gangs and they don't have to live their life according to a gang culture."

When the film was first commissioned, the Council’s Community Safety Team, police officers, the Youth Offending Team and Lancashire County Council’s Young Peoples Services all had an opportunity to discuss the challenges faced locally by young people and influence the script.

It has mostly been aimed at Year 8 pupils as they have been identified as the age group most likely to benefit from seeing the film but was also shown to teenagers at West Lancashire College. When the film is shown in schools the children get the chance to discuss the issues it covers and talk about what they would do in that situation.

For more information on the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership please visit West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership.

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