Laurance Haines School Worked With Herts Police to Talk About Knife Crime

Mayor Peter Taylor, PCSO Thomas and PCSO Jenkins presented LHS' anti-knife crime poster competition winner with a certificate.

The young winner of an anti-knife crime poster competition was announced on May 9th 2019.

PCSO Sarah Thomas and PCSO Daisy Jenkins, from the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team, previously visited Laurance Haines Primary School to give an anti-knife crime talk to Year 6 pupils.

The pair spoke about making positive choices in rejecting gang and knife crime, as well as discussing the risks and consequences involved in carrying a knife.

Following on from their visit to the school in Vicarage Road PCSO Thomas challenged the youngsters to design a poster each, displaying anti-knife crime messages.

Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips chose Zhasmina's poster as the competition winner because of the positive messages she had incorporated (pictured), which she had cleverly designed to look like a smartphone chat app.

Zhasmina was presented with a certificate of achievement by elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor during an assembly, and will also receive a WHSmith voucher as her prize.

A further certificate of achievement was also presented to the whole year group for their participation in the competition.

After the assembly PCSO Thomas, Sergeant Ellie Berry and the Mayor spent some time with Zhasmina and her classmates to give the children the opportunity to ask questions about their roles in the community.

PCSO Jenkins said: “The calibre of entries we received was outstanding and the children had come up with some fantastic ideas, but the Chief Inspector liked Zhasmina’s design best because she had focused on ‘saying goodbye’ to violence and knife-crime. She is a worthy winner and should be very proud of herself.

“As part of our preventative work across the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), we have been visiting schools to deliver our anti-knife crime presentation.

“Nationally, more and more children are choosing to carry knives. We know we need to intervene at an earlier stage in order to prevent them from getting to that point where they believe carrying a knife is ‘normal’.

“The pupils at Laurance Haines really engaged with us and from the entries we received, it was evident that the children had taken on board what we had said.

“We want to ensure they have the information and support they need to make the right life choices, and will continue to offer guidance to all pupils at Laurence Haines.”

Sebastian Gray, head teacher at Laurance Haines Primary School, said: “Building an awareness on the topic of knife crime is essential for the children.

“Whilst this may come as a shock to some, these are very real challenges and pressures that our children may face. Preparing them to be bold, reject knife and gang culture and keep themselves safe are imperative lessons for now and their future.

"We work very closely with our PCSOs to support and challenge our children to grow into the best citizens and become key members of our community. We would like to thank Hertfordshire Constabulary for their continued support."

Elected mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “It was great to meet pupils at Laurence Haines today and congratulate Zhasmina on her fantastic poster.

“Luckily, Watford does not have the same problems as some London boroughs with knife crime.

“However, we take the issue very seriously and work with the police and others in our town to educate young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.”

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