Young people warn others about the dangers of getting involved in ASB

Young people warn others about the dangers of getting involved in ASB

Young people with staff from Odd Arts and Wigan Council

Odd Arts

Young people from Wigan are working with Manchester based arts company, Odd Arts, to create a film that will warn others about the danger of getting involved in anti-social behaviour (ASB) and crime at a young age and encourage both young people and victims to get involved in restorative justice.

The group of young people, all from Norley Hall and Marsh Green areas, are part way through the six-week film project. They have created a storyline featuring young characters who choose to get involved in ASB, face difficult consequences as a result and choose to get involved in restorative justice to help make amends.

Restorative justice is a way of resolving conflicts peacefully, when both victims of crime and those involved in crime can choose to make contact, with the support of experienced staff, and make decisions about what will happen next. It aims to reduce the chances of issues happening again, repair any harm caused and enable victims to move forward.

As part of this approach, local victims of crime will also get the chance to talk about their real experiences on the film, to help any viewers who might have considered getting involved in ASB to understand victims’ feelings.

Jess Noonan, Project Worker for Odd Arts, says,

‘The overall aim of the film project is to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime in this area and to explain what restorative justice is all about. We always start by having discussions with the young people. We talk about lots of different scenarios and help the young people develop real awareness about the negative effects of anti-social behaviour, both for victims and for those who continue down that path. Young people are then free to build their own creative scenes, looking at the outcomes of different possible decisions you might make when faced with difficult choices. The final stage will be to involve victims of crime. They will have the chance to watch the film so far, react to it and, if they wish to, relate it to their own experiences.’

The plan is to show the final version of the film at an event at a regional mainstream venue along with other films produced by young people from across the North West. It will then be made available locally as a resource for those working with victims of crime to help demystify restorative justice and encourage greater uptake of it.

Tom, 13, from Marsh Green, says,

‘The film shows why people shouldn’t do anti-social behaviour. We’ve thought a lot about the consequences and I didn’t know that some of those things could happen so I’ve learned not to do anti-social behaviour.’

Chloe, 13, from Norley Hall, adds,

‘It’s actually been fun. Doing acting and knowing that it will help others has been good.’

The young people were supported to get involved in the project by Wigan Council’s Targeted Youth Support Services.

Director of Children’s Services at Wigan Council, James Winterbottom, says,

‘It’s great that young people from Wigan Borough have been able to take part in this project. We’re continually working with our partners, including Greater Manchester Police, to find ways to reduce ASB across the borough. There won’t be just one solution that works for everyone so it’s important that we think creatively and try new ideas. I’m glad that this project is already having a positive effect on the young people involved and I’m looking forward to seeing the final film!’

Posted on Tuesday 2nd July 2019

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