Below are some comments and reflections offered by a number of our students who recently met with PC Rob Pedley from West Midlands Police. PC Pedley visits many schools within the Walsall, Willenhall and Wolverhampton area to raise children’s awareness of the dangers surrounding gun and knife crime. This is not the first time we have welcomed him into school and as always, we were much inspired by not only his own personal story but also the clear and genuine message of concern issued to all students regarding their own wellbeing whilst out and about.
Year 7: PC Pedley talks about knife crime dangers!
On Friday 16th January, PC Pedley came to St. Thomas More to teach young people about knife crime. PC Pedley told us that he was a former police officer but now travels to lots of different schools teaching people like us about the consequences of carrying a knife. He told us about his background and how he ended up being in a wheelchair and this decision changed his whole life- this is what he wanted us to know; make the right decisions in life. He taught us that if we carry knives, we will most likely be the one who ends up getting hurt, not the one who thinks they will be ‘protecting themselves’. He also taught us about ‘joint enterprise’ where we can also get into trouble for ‘being there’, even if we are not the ones carrying a knife!
Year 8: Bringing a new awareness…
By David, Vivian, Ellie and Piper, 8N
On Friday 16th January, PC Pedley came in to speak to our year group. He taught us a lot about his own experience and the impact our decisions can have. We learnt about knife crime and joint enterprise, this showed us that even if we did not commit a crime even being present means we are also responsible and may have to face consequences. The idea of joint enterprise can be followed in our daily life at school, where we may sometimes become involved in situations and also have to face the consequences of others actions.
We were very grateful to PC Pedley for giving up his own time to share his story with ourselves and other students in our school community, he warned us of the dangers of knife crime and we think that without his presentation lots of young people may consider carrying a knife for protection or for other reasons. However, this presentation has made all of us aware of the dangers of this and the negative effects this can have.
PC Pedley has inspired us to think about the choices we make and the effect this can have on the people around us, it made us realise that life short and we shouldn’t waste it facing consequences for issues we can avoid – especially those around knife crime and joint enterprise. PC Pedley informed us of how we can make positive changes through speaking to the Police, Teachers and our Families to help encourage this inspirational change.
Year 9: The power of choices…
By Elle and Grace, 9E
The assembly we had last week by PC Pedley was informative and educational. He talked to us about the dangers of carrying a knife and getting involved with gangs and crime. We are now far more aware of the dangers that knowingly being at the scene of a crime can bring. Importantly, we were told about the ways that we can avoid finding ourselves in this type of situation and to avoid being in any sort of trouble that we do not want to be in. For example, call 999 is we know there could be trouble (before anything serious happens) or if you see a crime being committed.
PC Pedley also described his personal story to us. He powerfully explained that a single choice can affect your whole life in ways you might not even expect. He showed us some real life examples of the impact these choices can have and the way it has hindered these people’s lives forever.
We were given advice and strategies to help us to feel empowered to make the right decisions in our lives and do the correct thing in situations you may find yourself faced with. He explained that there are negative choices that you could make (e.g. carry a knife, get involved, or protect ‘friends’) which could really affect your life. However, we were clearly told that there are also positive changes you could make (e.g. call 999, speak to a teacher if you’re worried about something, call NSPCC) that could make you a witness, rather than the person being charged.
Response from PC Rob Pedley
‘It was a pleasure. Your pupils were superbly behaved and respectful throughout. I look forward to having a look at their comments. Speak soon. Rob’ – PC Rob Pedley MBE, West Midlands Police