Teenagers from high crime areas take part in mock crown court trial to show how gangs exploit youngsters and why they should stay on right side of law
- Fifteen teens spent week with Merseyside Police pretending to be detectives
- Group interviewed suspects, played by actors, and looking at DNA evidence
- Police hope experience will show how gangs exploit youths and to avoid crime
Teenagers from high crime areas have been taking part in a mock trial to show them how gangs exploit youngsters and why they should stay on the right side of the law.
A group of 15 teenagers, aged between 14 and 16, spent a week with Merseyside police pretending to be detectives.
They were tasked with interviewing the victim and suspect, played by actors, before examining evidence and compiling a video ID parade, reports The Times.
The group then went to Liverpool Crown Court, where they saw Michael Keegan, played by Michael Moran, crack on the stand and confess to stabbing Thomas Smith.
A group of 15 teenagers, aged between 14 and 16, spent a week with Merseyside police pretending to be detectives before seeing a mock trial at Liverpool Crown Court (pictured)
Real judge Neil Flewitt and barrister Ken Grant helped out with the case, which is part of a scheme by Merseyside police to help vulnerable teenagers.
Chief constable Andy Cooke told The Times: ‘Prevention for me is far more important than detecting. I get far more pleasure from knowing it’s being prevented than from mopping it up afterwards.’
Merseyside police plan to share the scheme’s details with other forces across the country.
They have already been rating ‘outstanding’ for their preventative approach in the past.
One of the teenagers, 16-year-old Abbie, said: ‘It shows you the consequences of what happens, that you can make one bad decision and find yourself on that path.’
The teenagers have already been exposed to crime, with one saying there had been a gang-related gun shoot-out on her street, while another knew school students who bragged about carrying knives.
The scheme aims to show teenagers from high crime areas how gangs exploit youths and why they should stay on the right side of the law (file photo)