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Students’ anti-crime plea is praised by the police
A student-led campaign to help protect vulnerable Otley residents from thieves has been praised by the police.
Members of Prince Henry's Grammar School’s Young Citizens' Panel have been coming up with all kinds of ways to help people foil bag and purse snatchers as part of their Cuffed & Caught project.
The scheme has been led by four Year 10 students, Rebecca Foster, Lakvinder Lakhanpal, Sophie Jeffery and Hannah Bradford, and supported by PCs Heidi Beardsmore and Sally Bisset.
It has included the girls applying for a grant so they could buy anti-theft purse chains, which were handed out free to residents, and holding a presentation and leaflet drop at a recent coffee morning.
The young citizens' panel is also visiting local primary schools to discuss theft and shoplifting with the pupils in a further bid to raise awareness of the issue.
Sophie and Hannah said: “It is really important to us to make the more vulnerable people in our community aware of thieves and pick pocketers, and to hopefully minimise crime.”
Safer Schools Officer PC Beardsmore said: “The Prince Henry’s students have done an excellent job working within the community. They have done presentations and assemblies, not just in school time but in their own time, too. They should all be very proud of themselves.”
The purse chains were purchased using a £100 grant from the community Trust, which was matched by Otley business Beks Electrical, allowing £200 of chains to be bought in total. Year 6 Otley primary school pupils, meanwhile, are also being asked to design a poster that highlights the human cost of shoplifting into a competition being run by the citizens' panel students.
Prince Henry's, working with West Yorkshire Police, has now been running a Young Citizens’ Panel for more than three years.
The panel is intended to encourage its students to work actively in the community and help challenge negative misconceptions about young people.