Live drama warns young people about the devastating effects of crime
A crime drama has given pupils a taste of the justice system as actors performed a live story of a teenager being groomed by a vicious gang to supply drugs.
The drama workshop was organised as part of the Justice in a Day project by North Wales Police and Community Trust with the aim of showing young people the devastating effect crime can have on families and the community.
The story featured ‘Darren’ who is groomed by a country lines gang to supply drugs resulting in an 18 month sentence in youth custody.
During the performance, magistrates hear that 16-year-old Darren, played by actor Iwan Garmon, was forced to sell illegal drugs after he started using them himself and fell into debt.
He is then caught when he’s seen passing drugs to another person at a party and police officers find him to be in possession of MDMA or Ecstasy, a Class A controlled drug.
The day-long workshop, created by actors and creatives at Mold-based Theatr Clwyd, was attended by students from Ysgol Dinas Bran in Llangollen as part of their BTEC in Public Service course.
PACT project manager Dave Evans said: “The purpose is to educate young people about the criminal justice system and the consequences of crime.
“The feedback we have had from schools and some of the case studies we’ve done with young people over the years and how they’ve benefitted from the workshops has been quite profound.”
The scenario presented during the day-long course is “absolute real life” and aims to be nothing like how crime is portrayed on television and elsewhere.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said: “The Justice in a Day project is an ideal way to teach young people all about how the justice system works and how committing criminal offences can destroy the lives of victims and offenders.
“It’s really important that we educate our children but you have to get the presentation right and all credit to the actors here from Theatr Clwyd who have pitched it at just the right level.
“The young people here today are really getting involved and all the knowledge that’s being shared raises their awareness of what could happen to them in a way we couldn’t do in a classroom setting.”
Written and directed by Emyr John, Theatr Clwyd’s creative engagement associate and the son of a former North Wales Police Superintendent, he said Justice in a Day was created to help educate young people about the consequences of crime.
He said: “The actors tell the story. Students decide what they think the sentence should be but we have a real magistrate to deliver what was the actual sentence and explain why the court came to the decision it did.
“Darren is sent into youth detention for 18 months and we look at what happens and his experiences while locked up.
“It’s about talking to young people in a way they can understand and in their own language. It also helps explain what can happen if they get involved in crime and how it affects not just them but their whole family and friends.”
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Could add some extra realism by taking PCSOs out of it. They’re not empowered to arrest in the ways that police officers are, and really, rarely do.