Westley's Weapons Awareness..."Knives or Lives? You Decide!"
Chief Constable Roger Baker with Head Teacher Gill Hillman, PC Diane Murphy and Ann Oakes-Odger - 24th January, 2007
Educating young people about the implications of becoming involved in carrying weapons. Knife/Gun Crime and other issues, such as using Drugs, Alcohol and becoming influenced by Street Gangs. Informing Youth of how the foregoing areas may lead to a 'life of crime' and what a 'Criminal Record' means in career and travel terms. If you get involved with a 'gang' and someone you're with 'takes a life'...what 'Joint Enterprise' means. The dangers and life altering events that can occur through carrying weapons that can so often result in serious injury or loss of life! Breaking the cycle of Violence is crucial to save lives...the old Hasidic saying "If you save one child, you save the World!"
Watch Films...'A Mother's Story' & 'Say No to Knives' - www.2smart.co.uk/knives
Westley's Weapons Awareness is an initiative designed to be delivered to Schools, Clubs and Youth Community Groups, working in partnership with Parents, Local Authorities, Safer Schools Police Officers, Essex Police and other Police Forces throughout the UK. Youth Offending Teams, Courts and Probation as well as the Voluntary Sector. The Reduction of Crime by integrating the 'Be Safe' Programme to:-
a) Educate and engage Young People...
b) Challenge Youth views to avoid Anti-Social Behaviour and Crime...
c) Offer Support to Victims of Bullying and/or Violent Crime...
d) Promote a Safer Community and encourage responsible citizenship...
Since January, 2007...'Westley's Weapons Awareness' has been delivered in many Schools around Essex and other areas in the UK.
Ann Oakes-Odger talks to 11/12 year olds about the consequences of carrying 'Knives'
Westley's Weapons Awareness...Areas covered in the Be Safe programme include:-
- The History of the Knife
- Weapons & Self Defence
- The Medical implications of using a Weapon
- The Law
- Social Implications
- Revenge & Reprisals
Workshops for Schools, Youth Groups, young offenders…hosting presentations for parents and teachers, so they are aware of the input their children will be receiving. The programme was originally designed to deal with offenders only, but it soon became apparent that if many of these young people had been provided with the information about the consequences of carrying a ‘Knife’ then they would never have entered the Criminal Justice System. The project is now part of preventative, restorative justice and reparation measures provided in Schools, Youth Groups and Associated Organisations.
Delivering harsh realities of what can happen when carrying a knife (often ‘street-termed’…blades, chiv, chive, shiv, or shank) in legal terms an ‘Offensive Weapon’. The talk allows young people to question ‘why they carry a knife’…the short and long term repercussions of carrying them. The cycle of revenge and reprisal attacks, the drastic effects on families as a result of serious injury or worse, a persons death. These realities are explained in an understandable way along with the medical implications of when someone is stabbed! Following this in-depth education…they are given choice...informed choices, to make them think about the consequences.
Young People look at the effects of violence on the Human Body
The damage a Knife can do...Knives have devastating effects, hospital staff see more than their fair share day in, day out. Below some of the staff tell us of their experiences:-
Charles Knowles, a Consultant Surgeon at the Homerton Hospital in Hackney and the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel..."I have spent many years training as a Surgeon in East London and have seen the results of 'knife injuries' on most of the nights that I have worked over the last 10 years. During that time I have been working over Christmas on several occassions...
...I remember one Christmas Eve receiving a 17 year old male who had been stabbed in the chest on the left side. The knife had gone deep in to the chest, breaking 2 ribs in the process. He had a cardiac arrest on arrival. I opened his chest and attempted to stop the bleeding but there was no neat hole in the heart to sew up. Instead there was just a constant welling up of blood from behind the heart that flew out of the chest every time we ventilated his lungs. It was impossible to stop this...he died!
Covered in blood, I looked up to see that it was now Christmas Day. The floor in the Resuscitation Room was about 1cm deep in blood and the place smelt of it! There was silence around the room. Later that night I found one of the nurses crying outside.
The worst thing about this case is that the next Christmas Eve the same thing happened again".
Mr. Nigel Tai, a Consultant in Trauma & Vascular Surgeon at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel has had ample opportunity to observe the tragic consequences of 'Knife violence' both in the UK and Abroad..."I will always remember breaking the news of one 17 year old victim's death to his Mother and Sister. The blade had gone in to his buttock and then in to an intestinal blood vessel, causing serious internal haemorrhage which resulted in his collapse, several hours later.
Neither the Victim, the Perpetrator nor the Medical Staff realised the extent of the damage as the external wound was small and there was little bleeding!
The anguish inflicted on this boy's relatives, and their total distress on hearing the news of their loved-one's senseless death, is typical of the devestating impact that results from carrying a Knife"...
E. & O.E.