Potters Bar students told to just say no to gangs

Mount Grace School. Picture: Alex Lewis.

Mount Grace School. Picture: Alex Lewis. - Credit: Archant

Potters Bar students were told to just say no to gangs, at an assembly held on Tuesday.

More than 600 pupils from Mount Grace School received the hard-hitting message about the dangers of becoming involved in gangs during a talk co-ordinated by Hertsmere Community Safety Partnership.

Hertsmere borough councillor Pervez Choudhury, portfolio holder for community safety, said: "We have run a number of these sessions across Hertsmere and they have always been well-received by both the young people and schools involved.

"We work with our police colleagues and other partners in the community safety partnership to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and getting involved in county lines and gangs across the borough.

"We believe that people with first-hand experience of past issues, and how they've overcome them, better connect and inspire young people. Our aim is to help young people make informed decisions about what they are getting involved in, which can have devastating consequences.

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"During the session, the young people were encouraged to talk to their friends, parents, teachers or even the police about their concerns.

The 11 to 18-year-olds heard from the St Giles Trust - a charity that helps disadvantaged people find jobs, a home and support to encourage them to become positive contributors to their community.

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Helen Marshall, safeguarding officer at Mount Grace School, said she was "delighted" the charity was on hand to deliver "very important and thought-provoking presentations about making positive choices.

"Our young people were interested and engaged throughout the session.

"It is vital that schools are proactive in their approach to tackling crime and gang culture.

"Having people who can talk through the realities and consequences of getting involved with gangs or criminality is important in getting the message across.

"I would highly recommend these sessions."

For more information or to arrange a workshop at your school, email Loran Kingston on loran.kingston@hertsmere.gov.uk or call 020 8207 2277.

You can report crime anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the independent charity's untraceable online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. You can also call the police's non-emergency number on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

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