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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-04-11

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Crimestoppers wants Young People to be Fearless against crime

INDEPENDENT charity Crimestoppers has launched its youth service on Merseyside at an event at Aintree Racecourse. A group of young people took part in an interactive session led by Fearless youth worker Leon Hobson, who himself has been a victim of knife crime. Leon, spoke about how the incident changed his life and how he now devotes his life to helping young people make the right choices. The young people were given the opportunity to speak about how crime impacts their lives and whether they would report crime if there was a way to do it anonymously.

Those in attendance were also able to put challenging questions to Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Crimestoppers Regional Manager, Gary Murray and Liverpool Football Legend and Crimestoppers Volunteer, David Fairclough.

The unique service gives young people the chance to report crime online anonymously and to learn more about crime and how it can destroy lives. It is also a valuable resource for youth leaders and teachers to use as they seek to tackle difficult subjects and challenge attitudes in their youth clubs and classrooms.

David Fairclough, Liverpool Football legend and Crimestoppers volunteer said:- "I volunteer for Crimestoppers because it is vital that we raise awareness that the public has a vital role to play in making our communities safer by reporting Crime anonymously. We need to explode the myth that you should not snitch on criminals. These people do not care how much damage or harm they cause to our young people. By reporting crime through they can make Merseyside safer for their family and friends."

Colin Mathews, Chair of Crimestoppers' Merseyside Volunteer Committee said:- "We are delighted to work in partnership with Aintree Racecourse to launch our major youth initiative. It is vital that we engage with our young people using media that is relevant to them and to let them see that they have a voice and a role to play in making Merseyside safer. Sadly over the years we have seen many young lives and families destroyed by crime on Merseyside, we hope that using our online resource our young people will make the right decisions and feel able to report crime anonymously."

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said:- "We know that some young people can be reluctant to talk to the Police. Their friends and even their families may try to enforce a 'no grass' culture, partly due to ill founded fears of what Police investigations can lead to. It is also another form of bullying. We must change this. Young people need to know they can do the right thing, helping to bring justice for victims of crime, in the knowledge that by doing so they are making their own communities safer. Crimestoppers provides a really important avenue for people to give information to the Police anonymously and in complete confidence, and I welcome their decision to launch a dedicated youth brand in our region to encourage young people to come forward and report crime safely online without fear of reprisals."

Crimestoppers received over 6,500 pieces of actionable information by phone or through the online form from its website, in 2016, in Merseyside, which is a record number. In the 1st 6 months of this year 246 pieces of information on possession of firearms alone were received and over ₤1.5 million pounds worth of drugs were recovered.

Young people can contact us with information about crime anonymously via:- Fearless.Org.


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