Crucial Crew is an interactive safety initiative, organised by Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Communities Manager Caroline Wiggins. It is based around key life skills that targets 10 to 11 year-old children. Crucial Crew teaches children how to tackle the dangers they may encounter in everyday life and helps prevent them, in a very interactive way, becoming involved in crime.
Caroline Wiggins said: “One of the great things about Crucial Crew is the fact that all young people – whatever their academic ability – can shine. Key messages are conveyed in an interactive way and young people are tasked with identifying practical solutions to the problems they encounter.”
The event is designed to help the children to cope with dangerous situations; accept responsibility for their own safety; learn social responsibility; and make sensible decisions based on acquired knowledge.
Crucial Crew is based very firmly on four principles, which are that children learn by doing; crime prevention and personal safety education can be challenging and exciting; everyone is concerned about crime prevention and personal safety; and the most effective way of tackling the problem is a partnership approach.
Those children attending received a copy of a personal safety workbook with further information and advice on dealing with dangerous situations and how to make positive choices regarding behaviour.
Set out below are the scenarios the children dealt with this year. Each interactive scenario lasted for ten minutes during which time the children were asked to make personal choices about their safety.
1. Essex Police Internet Safety
2. Essex County Council Road Safety
3. Ignite Bullying
4. Essex Change Healthy Relationships
5. Essex County Fire and Rescue Home Fire Safety
6. Epping Forest Environmental Services Recycling and environmental crimes
7. First Aid
8. Alcohelp – alcohol awareness
9. School nurses Healthy Eating
10. Sainsbury’s – Large Goods Vehicles: Vision Blind Spots
The High Sherriff of Essex, Christopher Palmer Tomkinson, attended one of the sessions for the first time. He was very impressed with the activities and wrote “All of the presentations were impressive in their delivery and had to have left something relevant to remember in the heart of each child present.”
Portfolio Holder for Community Safety Councillor Gary Waller said: “Crucial Crew is an excellent way for children to learn about their safety. I was delighted by the successful way in which the various agencies responsible for delivering the scheme engaged the interest of the pupils.”