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July 2019
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Young Filmmakers Win over Merseyside Police

Budding young filmmakers from Huyton Sports and Arts Centre for Learning are celebrating after making a winning movie about the consequences of becoming involved with gangs and guns as part of a Merseyside Police
awareness campaign.

Merseyside Police commissioned pupils from Huyton Sports and Arts Centre for Learning and Christ the King Centre for Learning to produce their own films to dissuade their peers from joining gangs and highlight the dangers
of carrying/using a gun.

Armed with a video camera they were asked to produce a three-minute film and distribute to as many young people as possible within three weeks. Judges from Merseyside Police and Knowsley Council were stunned by the
creativity and innovative ways the schools pushed their videos out. This included using social network sites such as You Tube and Facebook.

Both entries were of a consistently high standard, but after much deliberation, Huyton Sports and Arts Centre for Learning was selected as the winning team. All the entries were judged on content, creativity, effectiveness and distribution.

The winning students received £250 for their school and the video equipment they used for the project. The video will also be posted on the Merseyside Police website.

The Safer Knowsley Partnership has also made a donation to the runners-up in recognition of their contribution.

The team – which consisted of Lloyd Williams, Sophie Lynch, Andrew Connor, Sam Meaghan, Chloe O’Neill, Natalie Reppion, Jess Balmer and Amy Houghton – chose hard-hitting themes throughout their video to try and
influence the behaviour of other young people.

One of the winning school pupils Lloyd Williams, said: “It’s been a very interesting experience coming up with ideas and progressing the video. We have all worked hard to create a video that will have a positive impact on
the community.”

To get their video out to as many people as possible the students put the video on the school screen and it has been viewed by 1400 pupils. It has also been shown during lessons and at local youth centres and placed on
YouTube. They also asked for feedback on how effective the video was and received a 96% satisfaction rate. A total of 106 pupils were interviewed for the survey, which also revealed the following:

96% of students said that the film was successful in getting across the dangers and consequences of gun crime
58% of students knew about the consequences of gun crime before watching the video

The viral video schools competition is part of a wider Merseyside Police Gun Crime campaign and the videos produced by the schools were aimed at young people under the age of 18.

Acting Superintendent Claire Richards, said: “This project has been a great success. I was overwhelmed by the high quality of both video’s and the innovative, hard-hitting approaches used by the students to get key messages about gun crime across to their peers. Using groups of young

people to act as role models to influence other young people is invaluable. It was evident that a lot of hard work and effort had been put into the project and feedback from the pupils who were involved was very positive.”

Steve Agger, Knowsley Council Service Director – Crime and Disorder, said: “The Safer Knowsley Partnership recognises the hard work that has been put into this project by the schools and pupils involved. They both showed
great creativity and a sound understanding of the issue. We value their involvement in helping to promote, what we feel is a very important message to members of their own peer group. We hope to continue the relationships
we have developed with both schools and to work with them again on future projects.

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