A theatre challenge that saw school children across Salford taking a stand against organised crime and gangs has been recognised as the best in Greater Manchester.
Stand up for Salford aims to teach school pupils about organised crime, its dangers and the impact that it has on communities and steer any pupils at risk of involvement in crime into positive activities. It also promotes Fearless, Crimestoppers’ dedicated youth service.
Now, the pupils, police and Salford City Council staff who put the Fearless project together have been given the Crimestoppers Chief Constable’s Award. It’s an annual accolade to recognise a team which does the most to promote and support the work of Crimestoppers.
Gary Murray from Crimestoppers said: “We are delighted to recognise the great work that has taken place in Salford and all the partners involved. The project was both innovative and impactful and demonstrates how when the community works together they can have a huge impact and really make a difference.”
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said: “Around 150 pupils from worked with Rhema Theatre every week for two months to explore the impact of gangs and organised crime on their local community.
“They learnt how information is the key to tackling the menace and how Crimestoppers and Fearless allows anyone to pass on information in total confidence – and then created their own dramas to educate other children.”
The winning play was created by Harrop Fold School in Little Hulton and was turned into a gritty, 20 minute drama for other teenagers and the Crimestoppers website by students from UTC@MediaCityUK, working with professional actors.
Superintendent Mark Kenny from Greater Manchester Police said: “We have engaged with hundreds of young people across Salford since the scheme was launched last year, educating them on the dangers of getting involved in gangs and ultimately encouraging them not to.
“The pupils and their schools worked extremely hard throughout, a testament to their dedication to keeping their community safe. I would like to personally thank all those involved for making a positive impact on the community of Salford.”
Stand up for Salford is part of Salford’s Project Gulf which brings together 20 different local agencies, including the emergency services, council, health and housing authorities, to tackle crime and show young people positive alternatives.
Crimestoppers guarantees that any information anyone passes on is completely anonymous and cannot be traced back to the person reporting it.
Drew Povey, Headteacher at Harrop Fold said: “At Harrop Fold we are very proud of the students who were involved in the winning piece. We chose to use the theme of domestic violence rather than base it soley on gangs as we felt it was more relevant to our young people, dealt with the challenges they witness and in some cases experience, while at the same time, being an excellent vehicle to highlight the work of "Fearless' and 'Crimestoppers'.
Our stylised performance was a thought provoking look at how the issue of control and manipulation can so easily affect young people but how there is a way out through the great work that this GMP initiative has sponsored so successfully.”