Nottinghamshire anti-crime initiative receives funding boost

A scheme which brings the sights, smells and sounds of the criminal justice system to life for Nottinghamshire school children to discourage them from youth crime has received a £30,000 funding boost from the County Council.

The ‘I Pledge’ project offers school children aged 9 to 11 two interactive visits to Nottingham’s Galleries of Justice Museum including a mock trial in a former court.

The sessions focus on themes of vandalism, anti-social behaviour, arson, theft and cyber bullying and attendees are made aware of youth crime issues and the criminal justice system during the first session.

Between visits pupils have to write their own mock trial and decide the outcome of the case which they perform on the second visit.

The sessions conclude with the children making a pledge to help tackle crime in their community.

The funding will mean sessions can take place from January to July.

Coun Mick Murphy, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Young people who get involved in crime often don’t understand the consequences of their actions and think it is a laugh or a joke.

“These sessions aim to put children on the right track and show them that committing a crime is very serious and can involve a court case and gaining a criminal record.

“They are held in real-life court rooms which really bring to life how scary and daunting a criminal trial can be.”