Fearless campaign using sport to promote reporting of crime
The charity Crimestoppers is rapidly expanding its Fearless programme in Wales to encourage young people to report crime – and they are using sport as a vehicle to get the message across.
Fearless was established in 2010 as a response to concerns about under-reporting of crime among young people. They have an established network of outreach workers spreading awareness in schools and in communities across England, and since January have appointed five outreach staff in Wales.
Callum Bryant was the first to be appointed in January this year and operates in the Newport area. His appointment was part of the Organised Crime pilot funded by the Gwent Police Crime Commissioner and the Home Office. It links Fearless together with three organisations – Newport Live, Barnardo’s and St Giles Trust.
Newport Live use sport as a tool to reduce crime with young people across south-east Wales. Callum has visited several of their football tournaments to engage young people aged 10-16 and encourage them to speak up anonymously about crime.
In August he will attend a joint tournament with Be Active and Premier League Kicks, providing information about knife crime, county lines and child exploitation in an informal way – through keepy-up competitions, workshops and handing out merchandise.
Mostly, the outreach workers’ role is performed in schools, with whom they liaise to target young people most at-risk of becoming involved in or witnessing, crime.
“My work is about crime prevention and education using a youth work approach. I let them know the risks and consequences of crime, the laws and popular misconceptions about carrying a knife, for example,” says Callum.
“Many young people I see tell me they know someone drug-running in the Newport area – something that the pilot is seeking to address. Young people need to understand the risks but also have alternative role models and aspirations to be a positive member of the community.”
By its very nature, the impact of Fearless is difficult to quantify (after all, how do you measure successful prevention – something that hasn’t happened?). However, in only his first month in the role, Callum delivered to over 5,000 pupils in nine secondary schools across Newport. One school he recently visited reported two separate disclosures about pupils carrying knives.
The work of the Fearless campaign is something any organisation working in the sport and crime sector should be aware of and could potentially engage to deliver their positive messages to at-risk participants. For more information, go to: www.fearless.org/en