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knife crime

Stolen Lives London

Tackling gang culture, weapon-carrying and violence | 41% increase in young people who won’t carry a knife | “This resource unlocked something… allowing them to believe that change is possible” – teacher’s verdict
Across London, the lime process of careful design based on the experiences and perceptions of young people was employed to tackle issues relating to gang culture, weapon-carrying and violence. The Stolen Lives programme provided a mechanism for young people to say how knife crime affects them, to identify issues that they think should be addressed in order to keep other young people safe, and encourage reductions in knife carrying and therefore serious wounding.

These issues were often complex and the activities were developed to encourage an informed debate that drills deeply into the subject. This project was delivered on behalf of the Metropolitan Police across 12 London boroughs. Its achievements have included a 36% improvement in young people understanding that carrying a knife actually increases personal risk rather than reducing it, and 41% improvement in young people who said they would not carry a knife under any circumstances.

Each London borough that took part was given the choice to select the groups of young people that they wished to consult with. Some opted for schools and community groups, while others targeted the work at Youth Offending Teams and Pupil Referral Units. The consultation with over 500 young people across London gathered information about how they view weapon crime in their locality and provided a wealth of information. The learning resource, which included locally scripted and produced films and lesson resources linked to the Key Stage 3 Citizenship Curriculum, was delivered in every school across each participating borough. Films were made in each specific borough so that the young people could identify with familiar locations, helping them to relate to what they are watching. Ged Kimber, a PSHE teacher in Waltham Forest, said, “This resource unlocked something in [the students] and really did allow them to think on a really deep level… I think that it is the route to allowing them to believe that change is possible and that they can influence that change.”

Chief Superintendent Chris McDonald added, “This is one of the best peer education programmes I have ever seen. Stolen Lives really engages young people and gets some strong messages across, as well as providing a fantastic creative opportunity for the young people involved.” Stolen Lives is delivered at secondary school level, but because research suggests that education needs to start much earlier, lime produced two additional resources appropriate for primary school children: a workbook aimed at Key Stage 1, to enable teachers and parents to discuss related social issues with younger children; and Uchooze, our online game aimed at the primary transfer age group, supporting good decision-making as young people transfer from primary to secondary school.

young people consulted
London boroughs involved
increase in those who won’t carry knife
lesson plans intro

Lovely lesson plans


lesson plan

a lovely description

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