Pupils learn about safety

WHAT are the consequences of starting a small fire? Want to resist drug peer pressure, but don't know how? A child lies in a road thrown from a bike – how could this accident have been prevented?

WHAT are the consequences of starting a small fire? Want to resist drug peer pressure, but don't know how?

A child lies in a road thrown from a bike – how could this accident have been prevented.

Nearly 1,000 primary school pupils from Ipswich and surrounding areas will find out answers to all this and more at Crucial Crew – a vital service for school pupils.

Children from 19 primary schools will visit the Suffolk Showground to learn important crime reduction and personal safety messages in a way that sticks with them for life.

The Lions Club of Ipswich has sponsored the Crucial Crew experience, which runs this week and next.

Youngsters take part in different scenarios to tackle crime reduction and health and safety issues in an exciting way.

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Suffolk Constabulary together with Ipswich Building Society will involve pupils in crime reduction activities, reducing the risk of theft and money and other valuables.

Children will be show the importance of post coding mobile phones and bikes and will be given a UV Security Marker pen to postcode property at home.

Another will address volatile substance misuse.

"Every year there are about 90 deaths from the misuse of solvents, killing more young people than all the other drugs put together," said Brian Tobin of ICENI drug project.

"Crucial Crew is an important opportunity to raise children's awareness of the risks."

Crucial Crew also has its very own telephone switchboard where the children have a chance to dial 999.

Past visitors have shown Crucial Crew a big success. Stowmarket High School pupil, Amy Fiddmas, was praised by fire crews in the Star earlier this year after a blaze broke out in the kitchen of home.

Unfazed the 14-year-old knew exactly what to do and shut the kitchen doors to contain the blaze.

A spokesman from Ipswich borough council said: "Crucial Crewers demonstrate an improved awareness of crime reduction issues and accident prevention.

"Lessons learnt have been put into action. A great deal of effort is put into the programme by all the agencies involved.

Agencies taking part include: Ipswich Building Society, ICENI, Suffolk County Council's Road Safety Unit, Local Health Partnership's NHS Trust, Suffolk Fire Service, Suffolk Constabulary, British Red Cross, Casualties Union, HM Coastguard, Anglia Railways and 24seven.

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