Aberdeen film produced to deter local youths from car crime
26 March 2015
SFRS, police and ambulance service officers worked to help improve the safety of local communities.
Pic: L-R : Station Manager Gordon Riddell, Insp Kevin Wallace, film maker Chris Robb, Aidan Stewart who features in the film, Sara Stroud from Shmu, film maker Brodie Marno and Chief Inspector Nick Topping.
A new educational film has been produced in Aberdeen to deter local youths from committing auto crime, and will soon be available for use across city schools.
The idea for the film was conceived and developed by officers and staff from Police Scotland, the Scottish and Fire Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service who form part of the Northfield Youth Action Group. Shmu (Station House Media Unit) was commissioned to produce the 10 minute film which uses local actors and was filmed in Northfield, Bucksburn and Banchory. Explaining the project, Chief Inspector Nick Topping, who is the Aberdeen North Area Commander, said: "One of the challenges for the North East recently has been the theft of and antisocial use of cars and motorcycles across the region, predominately committed by teenagers, some as young as 12 years of age. "For some time Police Scotland, with the support of our various partners, have been looking to address the widespread concerns auto crime presents within our communities, and the significant and far reaching impact this can have. "This new educational film and support package has been produced in Aberdeen to highlight the dangers of committing these type of offences, the impact on the wider community and to educate and deter teenagers from getting involved. I am delighted it will soon be available for use across Aberdeen City schools as part of social education classes. "The idea for this work was initially conceived through the Northfield Youth Action Group, under the auspice of the Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership and then developed by officers and staff from Police Scotland, heavily supported by the Scottish and Fire Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and Aberdeen City Council. "The film and educational package will be made available to young people across Aberdeen, including P7 and secondary school pupils, through Police Scotland's School Liaison Officers and Early Intervention Officer. Chief Inspector Topping continued: "Prevention and education, primarily directed at teenagers, is an important aspect of this work as a number of those involved are aged between 15 and 19 and many are often too young to hold a driving licence. Offenders often take an opportunity when they find an unlocked vehicle or keys within an unlocked home and then create considerable risks for themselves and other road users. "The purpose of the film is to highlight what can happen if a teenager not only steals a car and attempts to drive it but also highlights the consequences of being a passenger in these circumstances. It also introduces the wider community impacts which are often not considered by those involved. "I am hoping that by showing this film and having our school based and school liaison officers and others discuss this topic with young people, we can deter their involvement in this type of crime and help make our roads and communities safer." Northfield Community Policing Team Inspector Kevin Wallace said: "It has taken 16 months of planning to get to this point and I'm extremely proud of the film and delighted by how it has turned out. "I am hugely grateful to Maersk Drilling who generously sponsored the project and also to Arnold Clark, Ecosse Motorcyles, Overton Vehicles and the Belmont Filmhouse who have all provided vehicles and services to enable the film to be made. Without all of their assistance this film would not have been possible." Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Station Manager Gordon Riddell said: “Too often, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attends road traffic collisions and on occasion these incidents involve stolen vehicles. The consequences of a collision can be very traumatic for everyone involved. It’s tragic when young people are injured or killed, they just don’t realise when they step inside a vehicle what frequently occurs when inexperienced young drivers get behind the wheel. “This initiative is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when partner organisations work together to improve the wellbeing of young people." Councillor Martin Greig who is Chair of Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership said: "This project has been an excellent example of working together effectively to tackle safety problems. Public concern about car crime is well known so this innovative and creative programme is particularly welcome. It is excellent to see professionals from various organisations working together as a team for the good of local people. "The Police, Fire and Ambulance have given an enormous commitment to this priority in the community. It is also genuinely encouraging to see how businesses have been keen to contribute positively to this initiative. A key aim is to raise awareness of just how much harm is caused by this type of antisocial behaviour. I am very grateful for everyone's hard work on the challenge of reducing car-related crime." Inspector Kevin Wallace added: "Deterring youngsters is only one element, providing alternative activities for youngsters to participate in which diverts them from offending is another aspect that we have worked on. Particularly with the Northfield Youth Action Group, a wide range of partners and PC Kevin Lynch who is the School Based Officer at Northfield Academy. "'Project Fit' and Midnight Football tournaments are ongoing and the Aaron Williams Football Tournament is coming up this summer which PC Lynch is heavily involved in. These activities are run to provide youngsters the opportunity to divert their energies into safer and more productive pastimes." Kenny Wood, Assistant Rig Manager at Maersk Drilling said: "Maersk Drilling are happy to once again support a Police Scotland initiative to help the youth of the city. Hopefully this will offer them a different approach to life and at the same time help them contribute positively to their future."