Crime and anti-social behaviour can have a dramatic effect on the lives of young people.
And now students from six city schools are using drama to illustrate the impact of these issues on themselves and their communities.
Act Together is an initiative funded and supported by Citysafe-Liverpool’s Community Safety Partnership- Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in which students produce short plays based on themes taken from the City Council’s Young People’s Feelings of Safety Survey.
Themes chosen for this year’s programme include gangs; cyber-bullying; arson/alcohol; road safety; gang/knife crime and hate crime.
Citysafe put the students in touch with specialist mentors from different local agencies who have experience in the theme chosen by the school. They work alongside the young people and drama teachers to ensure that they fully understand the issues associated with their chosen topic.
Their plays are performed to their fellow students and a selection of their feeder primary schools and are seen as a positive way of addressing community safety issues that concern young people.
The finale for this year’s Act Together will be on Thursday 27 March at North Liverpool Academy when all the plays will be performed.
Six schools are taking part. They are Redbridge, North Liverpool Academy, Broadgreen International, Cardinal Heenan, Holly Lodge and Notre Dame.
Councillor Peter Brennan, Mayoral Lead for Community Safety, said: “Act Together has been running in many of our schools since 2008 and has proved to be a very effective way of getting across messages about serious issues which can have a real impact on young people’s lives
“Around 7,000 young people a year across our city are involved in Act Together or see the plays and we at Citysafe and our partners are delighted that positive messages about crime and anti-social behaviour are reaching a very wide audience.
“And it also shows what responsive, creative and talented young people we have in our city.”
Andy Cooke, Deputy Chief Constable for Merseyside Police, said:
“This is a really positive initiative that is enjoyed by the young people who take part and supported by a number of partner agencies. The initiative is in its eighth year, which I think is a testament to how important it is to young people on Merseyside.
“It is important for young people to understand how crime might affect them and the wider community and Act Together allows this to be done in a creative way.”
Sarah Wyatt, District Prevention Manager for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for Liverpool North, said: “Although we work with and in communities and visit schools and colleges throughout the year building bridges with young people and helping people to understand the consequences arson can have is a vital element of our safety messages and fire prevention approach.
“We were happy to work with the students who had a fantastic, enthusiastic and energetic approach and fully understood the information we provided as they gathered information on their topic. They understood that we investigate all fires we are called to and work with police to bring people to court for acts of arson. The students also fully grasped that arson can put lives, including those who start fires, at risk along with property and wildlife.”