'Schools Tour' across Kirklees educates youngsters (12 Oct 2018)

Kirklees Youth Intervention Team have teamed up with inspirational speaker Paul Hannaford for a schools tour across the District this week.

The 'Schools Tour' was funded by West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner's Safer Communities fund, following a successful bid by Kirklees District Police.

The aim of the project is to raise awareness and educate children and young people across Kirklees about the dangers of knife crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour which can lead to criminality.

Paul Hannaford is a public speaker who works all over the country at schools and football clubs telling young people his real-life experiences of drugs, knife crime, gang crime and prison, and basically gives a talk about his experiences and the long term effects.

Kirklees District Police and Paul Hannaford gave talks to almost 4,500 children this week, visiting the following schools:

  • All Saints Catholic College
  • Newsome High School
  • North Huddersfield Trust
  • Netherhall Learning Campus
  • Colne Valley High School
  • Salendine Nook High School

PC Sally Baines from the Kirklees Youth Intervention, said: "I was absolutely thrilled to secure the funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner for this project. Paul is such an inspirational speaker and this week has been a complete triumph as we have visited so many schools, engaging with young people and helping to raise awareness about issues such as anti-social behaviour, knife crime and violence.

"It is essential that organisations such as the police can visit and engage with our communities and especially children and young people who are the next generation. I hope that all of the pupils we have seen this week enjoyed Paul's talks and will be able to learn from his experiences."

Paul Hannaford, said: "This week has been phenomenal - we've educated over 4500 kids. Throughout the week, the feedback on my social media from these kids has been amazing, and Sally has been getting emails from the schools we've been to that have been so positive.

"This week I hope I have deterred 1000s of kids from drugs, gangs and knife crime through hearing my story - like I say in my talks - what happened to me can happen to anyone. I really believe that children in West Yorkshire deserve this education and hopefully I'll be back again in 2019. Early Intervention is paramount and I want to be a part of it for these kids."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I funded this initiative with a grant from the latest round of my Safer Communities Fund (recovered Proceeds of Crime money) which had a specific focus on tackling violent crime.

"Intervening early on and helping to prevent people going down the wrong path is so important in reducing crime and criminality and to that end the workshops have reached thousands of students across Kirklees in an engaging way. My thanks to Paul Hannaford and the Kirklees Youth Intervention Team for delivering this project. It if helps prevent even just a few young people from getting involved in criminal activity its well worth it.

"Tackling major threats and serious violence is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan and I will continue to work with the police and partners in schools and elsewhere to help protect our communities, educating and diverting young people away from such crimes."

For more information about the work the Kirklees Youth Intervention team does throughout the District, follow their Twitter handle @WYP_KDYouthTeam. For information on Paul Hannaford, please visit his website www.paulhannaford.com

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