Debbie Longley-Brown Project Development Manager
Young girls at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of crime are being empowered to switch direction through music, art and media.
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews provided a grant worth £19,750 from his Safety Fund to creative charity Pedestrian Limited for the delivery of its We Are Here project.
The Commissioner has outlined his determination to restore hope, trust and confidence in the response to crime and anti-social behaviour across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s communities.
Through the delivery of his Safety Fund, Mr Matthews aims to increase opportunities to prevent offending in the first place to deliver sustainable reductions in crime and relieve demand on the police.
Over a 20 month period, the We Are Here project will provide face-to-face sessions for up to 60 young girls aged 10 to 16 who are already working with youth justice services and are at high risk of crime and exploitation.
Through mentorship, the young participants will be invited to get involved in creative activities based around female empowerment including video discussions/interviews, printmaking, music, lyric-writing, podcast making, animation, stencilling and zine making.
The aim is to increase their self-confidence and self-belief, build up resilience, develop their communications skills, encourage teamwork, and increase their ability to effectively negotiate and think before acting to protect them from being drawn into county lines and other types of crime.
The project now features in a new YouTube video showcasing the community work the PCC is supporting to help young people turn their backs on crime and anti-social behaviour.
Mr Matthews said: “Prevention is a key strand running throughout my Police and Crime Plan. I have promised to support investment in community responses to crime and anti-social behaviour, particularly those that aim to reduce serious violence on our streets and protect young people from exploitation.
“I am also determined to restore hope and confidence in the justice system by ensuring vulnerable young people receive the help they need before their behaviour escalates and becomes an even bigger problem for society.
“There is a strong need for a female-centred intervention project that not only raises awareness among young girls of risks to their safety including county lines but also encourages them to use their voice in offering solutions to the problems impacting young people in our communities.
“Staff involved in the project have lived experience of the issues explored which increases their credibility with the young participants and helps establish trust. I’m keen to develop further resources to divert young girls from crime and look forward to examining the impact of this project to inform future provision .”
The project is being delivered via weekly two-hour sessions in Leicester and two other locations in the county and accommodates 8-12 people per session.
To view the video on Pedestrian Ltd and how the funds they receive are being used:
Telephone 01283 821012
Mobile 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 22nd May 2023