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GMP rolls out virtual reality programme to tackle youth violence

The pilot saw 1,395 pupils across 31 schools take part.

Greater Manchester Police are now rolling out a virtual reality technology programme across the region which is aimed at tackling youth violence. 

The 12 week programme is managed by a creative arts company, Round Midnight, and uses real actors to take young people through virtual reality experiences wjere they have to make choices around issues related to youth and knife violence. 

The force's violence reduction unit worked with Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Association to launch the Violence Prevention through Virtual Education programme, Virtual_Decisions.

The scheme will now be rolled out to all pupils in the region from Year 5 through to Year 8. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Like many other city regions, sadly Greater Manchester has experienced some very serious and tragic events involving young people carrying and using knives.  

“The best way we can help to tackle this is by making the right, relatable and engaging educational opportunities available to young people. I’m really excited that our Violence Reduction Unit, in partnership with Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Association and Round Midnight, has been able to put this virtual reality education programme in place to help keep more young people in our region safe from knife violence.

“The technology gives a great insight into the many challenges and decisions young people face in their day to day lives. It shows just how important every decision they make can be in leading them closer to or further away from danger."

Paul Brearley JP, Chairman of the GM Magistrates Association, said: “This is a great example of cross sector collaboration, delivering innovative education through a medium which is embraced by young people, impressing upon them the potential consequences of carrying, never mind using a knife.”

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