Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews recently visited the Warning Zone Life Skill Centre on Frog Island, Leicester.
Accidents are one of the leading causes of death, serious injury and acquired disability in children and young people in the UK. For 15 years, Warning Zone has been using workshops to teach children about the sorts of dangers they may encounter throughout life. This could be fire risks in the home, safety around electricity, building sites, alcohol and anti-social behaviour, personal safety and much more.
Warning Zone aims to equip children, in year 6, with the knowledge and skills to understand and avoid the risks the modern world poses. At that age, children progress to secondary school and develop a sense of independence that comes with a broader peer group and the natural boundary testing that adolescence brings.
Some of the issues that Warning Zone tackles cannot be often aren't discussed in the confines of the classroom or the comfort of the children’s own homes.
Mr Matthews said: “Feeling safe and confident is vital to children’s mental wellbeing. Parents need to know that our children are safe and sound and learn the skills they need to understand risk, online dangers and develop personal responsibility.
That is why it was a pleasure to meet with Elaine and other members of the group that make up the team at Warning Zone. Earlier this week, I explored their premises on Frog Island, Leicester. I walked through a mock building site and was nearly crushed by falling debris, experienced how a home fire might start in a kitchen, learned what to do if trapped in a bedroom by a fire downstairs and the dangers of using a level crossing. All of which was designed to be alarming but is highly effective at teaching children not to be complacent when in dangerous scenarios.
Organisations like Warning Zone play a huge part in assisting with children’s development, teaching them to think for themselves, keep themselves safe, and prevent them from committing crime and antisocial behaviour, both offline and online. The safety zones I saw really encouraged to see that the children respond positively to the scenarios acted out.
A huge part of my tenure as Police and Crime Commissioner will be defined by community engagement and community policing, especially where children are concerned. I want residents, schools, local councils and groups such as Warning Zone to continue to work with our police to tackle crime, clamp down on antisocial behaviour, tackle speeding and promote road safety and risk aversion. Informative, fun, interactive and unique, I would certainly encourage schools to have a look at their website and give the ‘Safety and E-Safety Zones’ a go.”
Of the visit, Elaine Stevenson, CEO of Warning Zone, said: “A huge thank you to our PCC. It was a great opportunity to show Rupert what we do and share our complimentary aims of preventing children and young people from engagement with the criminal justice system, of being resilient to criminal coercion and exploitation, and of being responsible people who have an awareness of the consequences of harmful choices. Thank you for all your support, without which we wouldn’t be able to work with over 20,000 children per year, educating and raising confidence about risk, harm, crime and positive choices.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
Posted on Friday 8th October 2021