Teenagers' film will help to fight youth crime

Swindon Advertiser: Some of the young people who worked on the film Buy this photo » Some of the young people who worked on the film

A FILM documenting youth crime has been launched in Swindon.

A group of more than 20 students from Kingsdown and Bradon Forest schools and New College worked with the Swindon Youth Offending Team (YOT) to produce the film which follows the journey of a young offender through the Criminal Justice System.

The launch of the film at the University of Bath in Swindon on Saturday was arranged to coincide with Inside Justice Week, which gives members of the public a chance to see behind the scenes of the local justice system.

The 15-minute film is based on real events and shows the full process of a young offender's crime, from the robbery though to his appearance in youth court, and a subsequent meeting between the offender and his victim.

It also shows the work of the various organisations involved in justice, such as the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, courts and the YOT.

YOT's head of service Kevin Leaning said: "Students of all ages have been involved in this project from acting to directing, script-writing and producing.

"The project has given them a chance to learn and sharpen these skills as part of the Government's Every Child Matters agenda."

Fifteen-year-old Bradon Forest pupil Josh Webb, from Cricklade, said working on the project was a worthwhile exercise.

"We spent a number of weeks working on the project and it was very interesting," he said.

"We went to different locations around Swindon, including the courts. It gave us a chance to work with people from other schools and colleges, and it showed us what can happen if people get involved in youth crime."

The film is set to be distributed to Swindon primary and secondary schools as part of the Healthy Schools scheme, and there has also been interest from outside bodies such as Reading University which is keen to buy rights for its use.

Saturday's open day and film launch also featured dramatic representations of youth crime and its consequences.

The event was attended by Swindon Council's chief executive Gavin Jones, the council's director of children's services Hilary Pitts, Mayor of Swindon Michael Barnes, and various agency representatives, including Wiltshire Police, local colleges and careers services.

The young people involved received a certificate from the mayor.

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