Funds to support police scheme in Dearne

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A police scheme which teaches young people about the dangers associated with guns and knives has been funded for a third year.

Organisation Police Mutual is once again supporting the Guns and Knives Take Lives education and diversion programme, developed by South Yorkshire Police to tackle youth-related gun and knife crime.

The hard-hitting presentation, which includes videos, role-playing and interactive demonstrations, is delivered to every Year Eight pupil across the county. It was first introduced by a South Yorkshire firearms officer in 2005 and is now delivered by a team of eight.

Before the initiative was introduced, 46 per cent of firearms incidents attended by officers in South Yorkshire involved young people, compared with just 11 per cent of incidents in 2012.

Head of welfare services at Police Mutual, Claire Long, said: “We are delighted to support such an innovative programme which is having real success in educating and deterring young people away from gun and knife crime. We hope the £2,000 we have pledged will allow South Yorkshire Police to continue to develop the initiative.”

Insp Rachel Usher, who leads the project, said: “The financial support we have received from Police Mutual allows our initiative not only to continue, but also to develop.”