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The PMNW team and their partner agencies returned to Tadcaster Grammar School for their annual Crime and Safety Awareness Day and were given the usual warm and friendly welcome. From the moment we were greeted by the site manager and kitchen staff it was business as usual and everyone ‘mucked in’ to ensure that the day got off to a perfect start.

After the launch in the Main Hall all 263 Year 9 students set off on their carousel of workshops which included;

1). Prison Life – a typical day in prison from reception to ‘lights out’ plus a visit to the mobile cell facilitated by Barrie Thornton, Dennis Williams and Charles Greaves;

2). Street Scene – Ollie and Kath led the discussions and role-play concerning anti-social behaviour issues that may affect the quality of life of the local community;

3). Choices and Consequences – A Q. & A. session brilliantly orchestrated, as usual, by Graham Holgate. 3 serving prisoners from nearby HMP Askham Grange shared their emotions and thought-provoking stories about how their decisions have had an enormous affect on both their lives and that of their families and victims;

4). Drugs and Crime – PC Andy Patchett gave a ‘no nonsense’ presentation on the effects of both legal and illegal drugs and the myths surrounding so-called legal highs;

5). Youth Justice Service – Dave McKenzie-Brown and his team once again re-enacted a court scene as would unfold in the Magistrates Court allowing students to take an active and integral part in the proceedings;

6). Fire – Marion Collins from North Yorks Fire and Rescue Service highlighted the dangers and consequences of not showing fire the utmost respect. This was done by way of a case study of a real fire local to the community which destroyed a primary school.  All caused unintentionally by two boys just messing about with matches;

7). C.E.O.P. – another workshop by North Yorks Police this time led by retired officer Paul Stephenson. The very real dangers associated with misuse of social media left students in no doubt as to what risks could be posed and importantly how to avoid them;

8). Alcoholics Anonymous – honest and open presentation on how the misuse of alcohol has affected the lives of the facilitators and their families.  Thanks to Paul and his colleagues for their frankness;

9). Out of Control – Larry Peacock led this workshop showing how easy it is for young people to succumb to pressure from ‘so-called’ friends and end up paying the ultimate price – Prison! Where are your real friends when you need them?:

The day as always was concluded in the Main Hall with a re-cap of what the students had learned in the hope that these important messages could be remembered well into the future to keep themselves, and others, safe and out of the criminal justice system.

Some students were lucky enough to receive a reward for their efforts but all the Year 9’s were a credit to themselves and the school and deserve praise for the respect and attentiveness shown to all the visitors in an environment made all the more difficult due to the hot weather. 

Many thanks in particular to Mrs Tobin and Mrs Henson for their usual attention to detail resulting in another tremendous experience for all concerned.

This is a typical example of PMNW, their partners and education working in perfect harmony for the ultimate benefit of the young people and the wider community it serves.

“This is one day in the school year that we want to continue for as long as possible. It is hard to measure the impact on the students but they talk about it for a long time afterwards and when older students see the PMNW team in school they instantly remember the positive affect it had on them and want to join in again”. Mrs . Tobin, Curriculum Support Assistant English/Life Skills.

“I’ve really enjoyed today and learnt so much. I’m never going to prison”. Matthew, Year 9 student.

“I’m 21 and I still remember the day that ‘prison me no way’ came into my school, ‘Tadcaster Grammar’. It was honestly one of the highlights of my whole time at school. Something that I even told my brothers about before they started. One of them has just texted me back and said it was awesome and added ‘Gosh you got celebrities staying at your hotel’. Jordanne Devine – receptionist at a local hotel speaking to me the night before the event.

Roll on next year, we’re all ready to return to ‘Taddy’ Grammar.

Phil Wilson – Crime Day Lead and Director of Community Liaison