Posted on Friday 24th March

Pupils at two schools in Warrington have been highly praised for producing a safeguarding radio advert for young people.

Sir Thomas Boteler High School and Locking Stumps Community Primary School, who created two 60 second broadcasts to raise awareness to children on a variety of important issues, were highlighted for their efforts at a national competition last week.

Students from both schools travelled to London on 15 March 2017 to attend the National Crimebeat Awards, which is the premier event that gives recognition to the most innovative and successful crime prevention projects carried out by young people nationally. During the ceremony, this Cheshire Crimebeat sponsored scheme came second overall in all of England and Wales.

The two schools were the winning entries of the original Cheshire Crimebeat competition, which was coordinated by the Safer Schools and Young Persons Partnership of Cheshire Constabulary.

Locking Stumps Community Primary School finished in first place of all primary schools with their advert on how children can make friends and beat bullying.

Finishing in first place of all secondary schools was Sir Thomas Boteler High School, who produced a video issuing advice to children around the dangers of sexting.

The local competition started in September 2016 with schools picking a subject before Ucreate – a partner in the project – chose ten primary schools and ten secondary schools as the best entries.

All 20 schools had their entries judged by a panel including the Chief Constable for Cheshire Constabulary Simon Byrne, the Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane and the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Kathy Cowell.

Four primary schools and four secondary schools were chosen to go into the semi-finals at the end of November. They worked with radio professionals to help improve their entry and have it professionally recorded.

In January 2017 the public then voted for which of the final eight entries they would like to be crowned the winning radio advert and broadcast to thousands of listeners - the two winning entries were then put forward for the National Crimebeat Awards.

Constable Elizabeth Stanton, of the Safer Schools and Young Persons Partnership at Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Working alongside all the schools and seeing the children working together to produce the radio adverts has been a fantastic journey.

“The final adverts were brilliant and the enthusiasm, creativity and approach from the children in researching the issue and putting all of it together is evident when listening to them.

“I am delighted at how well received the competition has been and the amount of people it has reached out too across the county. I want to thank all of the children, parents and teachers for all their input and a huge congratulations to the winning schools.”

The adverts from both schools were played on local radio over the weekend – to tie in with Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day – and will continue to be broadcast over the coming weeks.

Mark Watson, Cheshire Crimebeat co-ordinator, said: “This has been a truly unique project. Never before has every single school in the county been offered the chance to participate in a crime prevention project in this way at the same time.

“I was deeply impressed by the thoroughness of the research and the young people’s understanding of the topics to be addressed.

"What makes this project so very special is the ‘message’ is conveyed in ‘young people’s language’ in the allotted 60 seconds.

“There were many very effective and memorable messages delivered in a variety of styles from young people from all across Cheshire and the two winning schools were both brilliant.

“It is a ‘first” for Cheshire Crimebeat to win something at these prestigious National Crimebeat Awards and I’m sure we’ll try again next year!”

David Keane, Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner, said: “Being able to support and fund a project which aims to help ensure the younger community are protected from the dangers in our society is rewarding.

“It is incredibly important to work alongside our partners to engage and support young people to ensure they don’t become victims or offenders of crime.

“A huge well done to all those who took part and a big congratulations to the two primary schools who won.”

The radio adverts from both schools are available to listen to on the YouTube channel or by clicking on the links below

Listen to the Locking Stumps advert

Listen to the Thomas Boteler advert