Future Notts Police officers shown painful reality of knife crime
Budding police officers learned about the harsh realities of knife crime after visiting an award-winning interactive exhibition.
Two cohorts of Nottinghamshire Police cadets moved through five different-themed workshop rooms at the Ben Kinsella Choices and Consequences Exhibition based in the old police station at Nottingham’s National Justice Museum.
During two visits to the exhibition the cadets were educated about the dangers of carrying a knife, the consequences of carrying and associating with those carrying knives and the realities of prison life as explained by a live actor playing the role of a prisoner.
It comes as Nottinghamshire Police supports the national Operation Sceptre, a week-long campaign to highlight the work forces undertake all year round to tackle knife crime.
The anti-knife crime workshops at the National Justice Museum run throughout the year for school visits. As well as educating young people about the law relating to knife crime, the workshops encourage them to make positive choices to stay safe, with the ultimate aim of preventing knife crime before it happens.
Luke Aitken, 15, said the exhibition had made him realise the many consequences that can arise from carrying a knife.
He said: “It’s changed my opinion a lot. Ben didn’t do anything wrong and for him to be stabbed and murdered by other people is just not right.
“My message to others is there’s no need to carry a knife. If there are any issues be the bigger person and walk away from the situation or use words in a nice, calm manner to resolve the issue peacefully.”
Helen Ridley, cadet programme manager at Nottinghamshire Police, said the Choices and Consequences exhibition was a valuable part of the force’s ongoing efforts to reduce knife crime.
She said: “We decided to take the cadets along as we take the view that any young person can choose to carry a knife, and if you make children and young people aware of the consequences of that choice in their formative years, they will reject carrying knives in the future, even in the face of peer pressure.
“Education is a vital part of the long-term success of our strategy to reduce knife crime and the support of partners such as the National Justice Museum is really important.”