Police Column: Deepings School pupils learn about life on the wrong side of the law

Staff and pupils at The Deepings School take part in an anti-social behaviour roleplay task
Staff and pupils at The Deepings School take part in an anti-social behaviour roleplay task

This week’s column, written by community beat sergeant Rachel Blackwell, pictured left, looks at how police work with schools in the area.

On Thursday last week Year 8 pupils at The Deepings School took part in an interactive seminar day which was operated under “prison conditions”.

Pupils arrived in “prison” where they were expected to turn off their mobile phones, tuck in their shirts and walk in boy-girl double order.

Anyone found chewing gum or with their hands in their pockets risked being “punished” with a detention for their whole group.

The purpose of the activity-filled day was to educate young people and turn them away from crime, with a very real insight into the consequences.

Pupils took part in roleplays designed to demonstrate the impact of anti-social behaviour, acting out the parts of nuisance drunks, a worried parent with a young baby and the police officers who attended to deal with the disorder.

Other lessons were designed to increase awareness of knife crime, railway safety and staying safe on Facebook and Twitter.

Pupils were also able to experience what life is like as a prisoner and spent time in a realistic prison cell and prison transport van, taken to the school for the demonstration.

They then took part in a question and answer session with two real prisoners – Jordan and Eric – currently serving long sentences in a Doncaster prison.

The prisoners spoke openly about their regrets, having started to commit crime at a young age and told the pupils that they wished they had made better choices.

The day was run by The No Way Trust, a charity that was set up by prison officers in 1995 to deliver crime and safety awareness days across the UK.

These are one-day experiences designed for secondary school pupils, primarily in Year 8 and Year 9, to encourage young people to make positive choices and to reduce offending so that they stay safe and develop aspirations.

Schools are seeing a real benefit from running the days, with the next set to take place at Bourne Academy on March 20.