Students' campaign on hate crime will be rolled out across Portsmouth

A SCHOOL'S campaign to tackle hate crime is to be rolled out across the area.

Saturday, 8th April 2017, 6:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:03 pm
Judges, police and pupils from the winning school, Portsmouth Academy, with their prizes. Picture: Sarah Standing (170470-5792)

Students from Portsmouth Academy won the Police Apprentice competition, which asked schools to think of projects to stop hate crime and discrimination.

The apprentice scheme is a key part of the forces engagement initiative.

Four schools across the Portsmouth area took part and their campaigns ranged from using social media to getting the message across in a music video.

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Portsmouth Academy, in St Mary’s Road, Fratton, impressed with its idea and, with the help of Hampshire police, will see its project created and used.

Year 9 pupil Caitlin Good, 14, said: ‘It feels amazing to have won. We wanted to get our message out to as many people as possible and now we can.’

Fellow pupil Chloe Hooker-Denham, 14, added: ‘We spent a lot of time getting different people’s views and seeing what we wanted to do to stop hate crime. It feels good that the judges liked our ideas and it will be created.’

Students from Springfield School in Farlington, King Richard’s School in Paulsgrove and Miltoncross Academy in Milton took part in the day and impressed the judges from the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire Youth Commission and Active Communities Network.

PC Alex Jones organised the event and said it was a tough decision to pick a winner from the schools.

‘They all came up with some great ideas and we could use any of them as a campaign,’ he said.

‘Their presentations were unbelievable and of a really high quality.

‘For us, the students’ learning is the most important aspect of this event.

‘It gets different agencies working together and hearing what young people think.

‘But it also raises awareness for the students and gives them something they can take back to their schools and share.’

PC Jones added: ‘Hate crime is an issue everywhere and it is important to us that the community feels like they can report it to us and that we will deal with it.

‘We looked at ways to engage with the community and the Police Apprentice competition had been used before with sexting and it worked really well.

‘Now we have the winners, we can work with Portsmouth Academy to bring their campaign to life.’