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The PMNW team returned to Woodham Academy in Newton Aycliffe  to deliver their second successive Crime and Safety Awareness Day thanks to the ongoing support received from the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership.

The Year 9 students began in the Main Hall for the launch and then embarked upon a carousel of workshops which comprised of:

1). Prison Life – the realities of prison compared to any myths or misconceptions the students may previously have held;

Teacher comment: “Amazing! Delivered with real passion + energy”.

2). Street Scene – the effects of anti-social behavior upon the community were discussed then acted out to demonstrate how it can easily to turn to criminal activity;

Teacher comment: “Thoughtful delivery of consequences. Relatable for the students”.

3). Choices and Consequences –  a Q. & A. session led by a Prison Officer but also involving 3 serving female prisoners from HMP Askham Grange, openly discussing how it had affected their lives;

Teacher comment: “Absolutely brilliant session. Great idea to bring current prisoners in – their insight and personal experiences really captivated the students”.

4). Magistrates – the role of the courts and how decisions are made were explained then re-enacted by some of the students;

Teacher comment: “Helped understand the roles/jobs in a courtroom. Valuable”.

5). Harassment and Relationships – the definition, causes and consequences of harassment, the balance between healthy and unhealthy relationships and where to seek help if required;

Teacher Comment: “Completely relatable staff – delivered with enthusiasm & students respected everything they said – really engaging. Brilliant session – thank you”.

6). Hate Crime – a presentation on this very relevant topic which allowed students to ‘air their views’ and possibly challenge their perceptions;

Teacher Comment: “Clear messages about key themes. Students were most interested during interactive activities, where they could feed back ideas + choices”.

7). Northern Power Grid – a discussion and demonstration of the dangers associated with the misuse of electricity in all its forms;

Teacher Comment: “Great session, well led, interesting and informative. Good use of visual clips”.

Many thanks to Mr Walker for his attention to detail throughout the planning process which resulted in the event running smoothly. Also to the teachers and reception, IT, catering and site staff to which we are all grateful.

Thanks to the following personnel for facilitating the workshops:

Prison Life: Gerry Corns and Dave Witt

Street Scene: Ollie Woods and Kath Longstaff;

Choices & Consequences: Graham Holgate and the ladies from HMP Askham Grange;

Magistrates: Olga Bainbridge;

Harassment and Relationships: Ben Thorpe and Thomas James;

Hate Crime: PCSO’s Mark Lumsden and Abigail Skilbeck;

Northern Power Grid: Bob Knox.

Finally to the students in Year 9 who were a credit to the school as well as themselves. They were respectful to all the visitors and both attentive and keen to learn the key messages that would keep them safe and enable them to help others in the process.

Another excellent day for the PMNW staff and their partner agencies to which we are always extremely grateful.

Phil Wilson – Crime Day Lead and Director of Community Liaison.