West Midlands Police officer PC Rob Pedley MBE visited Southfields today to talk to Year 6 about a project called ‘Precious Lives’ Since launching the project in 2011, it has reached more than 100,000 young people across the region. The aim of the project is to de-glamourise guns, knives and gangs and present the real dangers faced by young people if they choose to carry a weapon or associate with a gang.
Rob joined the force in 1987 as a specialist firearms officer in the rapid response team. In 2008 the father of three suffered a tragic snowboarding accident which saw him plunge 240ft down a slope, breaking his spinal cord, and puncturing both lungs. Not one to shy away from a challenge, PC Pedley returned to work in a wheelchair – telling his story to teenagers to encourage them to think about their life choices and remember that life, like his, can change in a split second.
By giving young people accurate and honest information, it allows them to weigh up the options, identify the risk and consequences and make informed choices. Throughout it is continually highlighted that every individual is responsible for every choice that they make. They are not told what choice they should make but the message is powerfully sent that the wrong choice made in a split second can affect many lives.
Year 6 – Precious Lives.
‘I’ve learnt that you should always do the right thing and make sure that you truly know your friends.’
‘Every choice has a consequence’
‘One small decision could change the rest of your life.’
‘Every action has a reaction, make sure it’s positive.’
‘Don’t carry a knife’
‘That one choice, one decision can change your whole life. You only have one life, so do the right thing, make good choices or suffer the consequences.’
‘I learnt that even though you didn’t do the crime, you will still get charged and arrested for being there and knowing the was a fight with a knife.’