Pictured left to right are DCI Julie Henry, Lauren Bradley, Lee Bowcock, Joanne Scott, Alyth Allen, Joseph Craig, Ayesha Rafi, Kaitlyn O’Neill, Lara Matchett, Craig Campbell, Anisha Tagore, Jean Morrison and Tracy King.
By Democrat reporter
Every secondary school pupil in West Dunbartonshire will get the chance to hear presentations from local Police officers and staff from the Champions Board.
The objective of the presentations is to inform pupils about domestic abuse, abusive and coercive relationships and exploitation via the internet in a bid to both educate and provide the pupils with appropriate information to alert them to this type of behaviour.
The programme, which was launched today (Monday, 11 November 2019) at St Peter the Apostle, will see the Champions board and youth engagement Police officers visit and deliver presentations at every school in the area.
Detective Superintendent Calum Young, Dumbarton Police Office said: “The level of domestic violence in West Dunbartonshire is simply unacceptable, we have worked with partners to address the issue in both public and private sector industries.
“This initiative seeks to reinforce that work in a sustainable long term education programme, providing young people with appropriate information and guidance. We want to make all young people aware of these types of behaviours so they can identify them, take appropriate action, alert them to the support that is available whilst reaffirming that any behaviour of this type is simply unacceptable.
“Those attending the event are at an age where they may be planning to leave home to attend further education, away from the support of their family.
“They need to know where they can receive information and support, and also to understand when a crime is being committed or when someone may be in crisis or distress. We hope that this initiative will help them become more informed.
“The overarching strategy is to reaffirm to all members of the community that domestic abuse has no place within the modern society of West Dunbartonshire.”
Craig Campbell, Co-ordinator of West Dunbartonshire’s Champions Board, added: “I am really pleased we are highlighting the potential issues around abuse and exploitation young people can face when using social media. Working in partnership with Police Scotland and West Dunbartonshire’s CARA (Challenging And Responding to Abuse) service, we’ve created a presentation which informs and protects our secondary school pupils, and I would like to thank everyone for their efforts in getting to this stage.”
Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Education, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Police Scotland and The Champions Board to raise awareness and educate our young people on the issues of domestic abuse and violent relationships. By using early intervention we promote the value of positive and respectful relationships to our high school pupils.”