Robberies are focused on in a new film aiming to spotlight a crime increase in attacks on schoolchildren.
The film, to be shown in secondary schools across the Vale, is in response to an increase in robberies, many involving young people stealing from other youths.
Starring and made by eight Grange School pupils, the film, Snatched, will be released at a time when the threat is greatest, with many young people recently receiving expensive new Christmas gifts, something robbers are aware of. Of the 51 robberies in Aylesbury during 2011/12, 24% were from January to March 2012.
It is hoped the project will get young people thinking about personal safety, keeping gadgets out of view and secure.
Council safety officer Faye Blunstone highlighted one particular area, an alleyway between Aylesbury College and Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School and Morrisons, as a black spot.
Ms Blunstone, the district council’s community safety projects officer, said: “We don’t want to scare people but there’s been a few robberies down there.
“We are doing as much as we can, encouraging students not to show off their expensive items, but at the end of the day it is up to them.”
The film features three robbery victims that have their mobile phones taken by a group of youths on BMX bikes and highlights the dangers of walking down secluded underpasses. It also spells out the consequences for criminals if caught.
As well as being screened to Year 10 and 11 students in PSHE lessons, there will be a special viewing at the Aylesbury Odeon on January 21. Attended by members of various schools, police and Crimestoppers will be present to offer advice and mark valuables so they can be traced if stolen.
The film calls on young people to report crimes to police and Inspector Kelly Glister said all incidents are taken ‘very seriously’.
She said: “The purpose of this short film is to highlight the issues faced by young people and promote safety messages to prevent offences from happening in the first place.”
A poster campaign will accompany the film to remind students of the gamble they take when showing off gadgets. Extra police patrols have also been put on in danger areas.
The project has been funded by Aylesbury Vale District Council, Thames Valley Police, Bucks County Council and Aylesbury Town Council, with Community Impact Bucks providing the young filmmakers with training and expertise on filming and editing techniques.
Ian Bryant, assistant head at the Floyd, said the project was a good idea. He said: “We would support any steps to highlight the problems and raise awareness. We have had a couple of incidents in the past but thankfully it has not been prolific.
“We do not encourage students to bring high value personal property to school.”
In November, a 16-year-old student was attacked by a hooded man as she walked to Army Cadets at the TA Centre on Oxford Road. No arrests have been made in relation to this incident. Call police on 101 with information.