Anti-knife crime campaign comes to Solihull

12th January 2024

Students at Solihull College & University Centre’s Blossomfield Campus have been visited by West Midlands Police as part of a county wide anti-knife crime campaign.

The visit was part of the force’s #LifeorKnife campaign which encourages youngsters to talk about knife crime with parents and teachers. It also urges people to report those who carry knives and find out where they can be disposed of anonymously. The officers visit schools and colleges across the county.

students watching an anti-knife crime presentation

Head of Personal Progress and Development at the College, Beth Tite, comments: “The College regularly delivers sessions to students to prepare them for lifelong learning and employment and inspire confidence so that they are better able to navigate life outside of their home and college environments. We’ve been liaising with West Midlands Police on how we can work together to tackle and prevent knife crime across the County.”

During the visit, students used immersive VR technology from Round Midnight which places students in real-life scenarios where decisions need to be made within 10 seconds. Beth continues: “Each decision allowed the scenario to adapt and ultimately show what the impact would be. The students were able to discuss their decisions within a safe environment, allowing them to become more aware and equipped with how to stay safe.”

students using Virtual reality headsets
The VR technology places students in real life scenarios

The students were also shown an incredibly powerful video which featuring a young man who is serving a life sentence for a murder he committed when he was 15 years old. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He spoke about his choices, his family, the feelings he has had since, and is seen pleading with people not to carry weapons.

Solihull Police say, “As well as our operational activity to reduce the number of knives on the streets, we understand how important it is to have these conversations with young people in schools and colleges.

“The students found the sessions really positive and beneficial, encouraging open discussions around the reality of knife crime. We understand that conversations around knife crime can be difficult, but we need help from the community and parents in tackling knife crime.

“The thought of seeing your child in trouble, hurt or even worse is a parent’s worst nightmare. So now is the right time to chat to your child about knife crime and the impact it can have.”

The visit was part of the West Midlands Police drive to deter young people from carrying weapons. Anyone who wants to report anything can do so anonymously on the #Fearless website through Crimestoppers

All students at Blossomfield have taken part in the discussions, with West Midlands Police due to visit the College’s Woodlands Campus this term.

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