The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has attended a session of the Wrong Look, Wrong Time, Wrong Place (WLWTWP) course at Astrea Academy Dearne.

Home Office statistics suggest that 99% of young people aged 10-29 do not carry a knife, while research from Scotland has found that of those who do carry knives, many do so infrequently and often stop carrying them of their own accord. Run by Yorkshire Mentoring and funded by the Violence Reduction Unit, WLWTWP aims to reach the minority of young people who carry a knife or may be more likely to do so.

Focusing on the case of Azaan Kaleem, an 18 year old murdered in Luton in 2018, the course encourages young people to consider the impact of knife crime, not just on those involved in incidents but also on their wider family and society, and attempts to address existing attitudes and misconceptions which can lead to carrying and using knives.

Yorkshire Mentoring holds ‘train the trainer’ sessions, to equip teachers, school staff and youth work professionals to deliver the WLWTWP course to young people in educational settings.

Astrea Academy Dearne attended a recent ‘train the trainer’ session at Barnsley College, and then delivered the course to students during the week of Operation Sceptre, a national week of police action to tackle knife crime, which was supported by the VRU.

Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “Tackling knife crime and violence is a priority for the Violence Reduction Unit, and our aim is to work with partners across South Yorkshire to do so.

“It is clear that the vast majority of young people do not carry knives. However, it is important to reach the minority who do or who may consider doing so.

“Initiatives such as Wrong Look, Wrong Time, Wrong Place form part of our efforts to do this, and I’m pleased that the VRU was able to attend the session at Astrea Academy Dearne during the week of Operation Sceptre.”