Members of the Violence Reduction Alliance hosted a Community Safety event at the New Vic Theatre with pupils from local schools from across Stoke-on-Trent.
The event took place on Wednesday 16 November, and included workshops and planned activities for and featured two sessions in the morning and afternoon for pupils.
A virtual reality session was also organised by Round Midnight, showcasing the dangers of knife crime.
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue, and Crime, Ben Adams said: “Reducing violence – and the fear of violence – is a key priority for me as Commissioner. It forms an important part of our broader partnership approach to reducing violence through the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Violence Reduction Alliance.
“New research from the Youth Endowment Fund shows that nationally, young people are being seriously impacted by violence and the fear of violence, with almost two thirds changing their behaviour in some way as a result.
“Understanding how young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent feel about violence is vital. Community safety and violence form part of Personal, Social, Health & Economic education, which is why we’ve funded PSHE coordinators to support schools in talking to young people about topics such as knife crime and staying safe.”
Cllr Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “The Community Safety Schools event follows on from the Knife Angel installation which came to Stoke-on-Trent earlier this year, plus the ongoing Ditch The Blade campaign being spearheaded by Staffordshire Police and other local partners.
“It’s great to see so many pupils from across the city take part in sessions and talk openly about the dangers of knife crime. We hope events like this will be held regularly and continue to support young people in Stoke-on-Trent of the right choices.”
Chief Inspector Scott McGrath, of Staffordshire Police’s Stoke North Local Policing Team said: “It’s really important that we all work together to tackle knife crime, so I was really pleased to take part in this event to raise the profile of this topic and encourage open and honest conversations amongst school pupils.
“We are committed to tackling knife crime through our Ditch the Blade campaign and building on the education and engagement activities organised during the Knife Angel’s visit. This conference has provided a vital opportunity for us to engage with young people, enabling us to tackle this issue as a partnership. It’s only by working together that we can encourage everyone to Ditch the Blade.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leads a Community Safety Partnership and are a key partner in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Violence Reduction Alliance, where organisations and services join up and work together to protect local communities from crime and help people feel safe.