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A new, first of its kind, board game has been launched to tackle knife crime in Derbyshire.
Titled “Shattered” the game shows children the game of chance they are playing if they carry a knife – and the destruction it can cause.
The game was piloted earlier this year in secondary schools across the county and has been launched this week during Operation Sceptre – a nationwide drive to combat knife crime.
Superintendent Sarah McAughtrie, Derbyshire Constabulary’s knife crime lead, said: “On an all too regular basis we see the devastating effects of knife crime in our county.
“And one of the areas that we have seen a real increase is within the teenagers carrying, and using, knives.
“We work closely with schools to educate children about the dangers of knives, and this is another string to that bow to help really drive home the message and, I hope that if anyone ever faces such a life-threatening choice of whether or not to carry a knife, this extremely distinctive lesson will pop up in their memory and help them make the right decision.”
The game – the first of its kind to be delivered by police directly to children in their classrooms – is designed to teach teenagers about the consequences of carrying a knife.
It asks the pupils to take on the roles of different characters as they play through a scenario where one teenager stabs another in a public park, all the while discussing the wide-ranging aftermath.
The lesson opens with a video introducing the overall story, with one friend asking another to carry a knife for them. Their group then head to a nearby park and end up arguing with a second group, in front of other innocent bystanders. The knife is eventually pulled and the video ends.
At that point, the pupils take over the action, rolling the dice to determine what happens next.
Throughout the lesson, the groups will take on the roles of different characters – including police, paramedics and witnesses – to discuss how they would feel and what impact the incident would have on them.
The session then concludes with this video, explaining that people can choose not to take a knife, but if they make the choice to carry one for whatever reason, everything that follows is left to chance.
The game was devised and developed by the force’s Youth Engagement Officer Julie Berry who works across the county to help divert children and young people away from crime.
Julie said: “From the start of this project we always wanted it to be led by the youth voice.
“The feedback so far has been really positive and we are confident that, although it may seem like an unusual tactic, taking a board game into schools will leave a lasting impression on the class.
“It is all about creating a talking point with teenagers and encouraging them to think about the wider implications of their choices.
“The pilot work done in schools has ensured we have kept it relevant to the teenagers and we believe it will be an essential tool in helping us bring down knife crime.”
The board game is a partnership project and has been supported by local authorities in Derbyshire, with the videos – starring youngsters from our Police Cadet programme – created by the force’s in-house multimedia team.
The Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “Early intervention is important if we are to change young people’s attitudes to carrying a knife. The game and the film are part of a package of measures being implemented in schools across Derbyshire.
“If long lasting change is to be achieved we must impress on young people at an early age that carrying a knife is dangerous, not just for other people but, like in many cases, for the person carrying it.”