17 March 2008
A brand new initiative aimed at young people with a past of violent crimes is set to be launched by the local Youth Offending Service (YOS) as a result of over £3000 funding from the Safer Caerphilly County Borough Community Safety Partnership.
The "My Story, Your Story" project will run for four days from 24th to 27th March at the Oasis Centre, Blackwood, with the primary aim of the event being to explore the impact that violent crime has on the perpetrators and victims of such crime.
Participants for the event will be determined according to referrals from Youth Offending Officers, particularly focusing on those young people with offences or behaviours relating to violence or low victim awareness, that is, offenders that currently show little or no remorse to the victim of their crimes.
Activities that are likely to take place during the event include elements of role-play and rapping, and participants will also be encouraged to undertake an "oral history"; telling their story in the form of the 3rd person.
This, it is hoped will give the young offenders the opportunity to voice details of their crimes and hopefully show some remorse, while at the same time offering an element of anonymity.
During the event, the participants will also listen to emotive personal diaries from victims of violent crimes telling of their experiences, in the hope that these hard-hitting messages will prevent the youngsters from reoffending in future.
YOS Operational Manager, Michaela Rogers said, "The aim of this initiative is to allow the young people to gain a real insight into the impact of violent crime on the victim and to explore a wide range of issues associated with violent crime."
The material from the project will be collated into a book, which will be distributed to libraries throughout the county as well as other appropriate outlets.
The project will also conform to the Safer Caerphilly County Borough Community Safety Partnership Strategy 2005-2008 in their aim to reduce levels of violent crime in the area.
Safer Caerphilly County Borough is a multi-agency organisation whose five statutory organisations are Caerphilly County Borough Council, Gwent Police, Caerphilly Local Health Board, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Gwent Police Authority. It works to combat crime, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime in the area.
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