Learners regularly have visits from a local Police Community Support Officer to talk about different crime topics, from knife crime, to most recently county lines.

PCSO, Delia Farren, who delivered the most recent session, had this message to share with our learners.

“As a Youth Engagement PCSO for Leicestershire Police my role involves presenting educational workshops to young people in the area. I have regularly visited RIS Hinckley to deliver our educational offer over the last year.

“On Wednesday 28 February I was invited in to give a county lines awareness workshop to learners. The workshop’s aim is for them to understand what county lines are, how they operate and why criminal gangs recruit young people and the roles they are expected to play.

“We also explored incentives the criminal gangs will offer to entice young people into this criminal activity, how to recognise key warning signs young people may display if involved, and to understand the factors that can make some more vulnerable and susceptible to county lines.

“This was an ideal opportunity to work within a small group and a great way of engaging by creating an open dialogue for any queries to be answered and explored.

“I am fully aware of the challenges some of the learners are facing and I hope by being a regular visitor I can break down some of the barriers. I am always warmly welcomed by all staff and look forward to returning and having the opportunity to engage again with the young people at R.E.A.L.”

Kerry Newton, Hinckley Site Lead Teacher said: “These visits are important to raise the awareness of our students as to what is happening in reality out there. Also to educate them in the signs, the dangers of getting involved and how to seek help.

“If they are fully educated in these matters then they are forewarned and forearmed so they can make sensible and healthy life choices.”