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A CRIMESTOPPERS RESOURCE FOR PRIMARY EDUCATION


www.crimestoppers-uk.org Registered Charity No. 1108687 (England & Wales) and SCO37960 (Scotland).


CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: Drugs

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Quick briefing

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Assembly plan

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Basic outline

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Add-on ideas

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Classroom activities

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Why have drug laws?

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Drug law: true or false

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You’re not alone

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Not for me, thank you

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CHAPTER 2: Theft Quick briefing Assembly plan

9 9 9

Basic outline

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Add-on ideas

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Classroom activities Feelings of victims

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Witness choices

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How did the three bears feel?

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Finish the sentences

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CHAPTER 3: Graffiti

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Quick briefing

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Assembly plan

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Basic outline

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Add-on ideas

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Classroom activities

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Deadly designs

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Cost of cleaning

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My town

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Broken sentences

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CHAPTER 4: Arson Quick briefing Assembly plan

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Basic outline

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Add-on ideas

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Classroom activities Reasons for lighting fires Messing about, then what…?

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All the victims

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Words on fire

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CHAPTER 5: Vandalism

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Quick briefing

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Assembly plan

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Basic outline

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Add-on ideas

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Classroom activities

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Bingo vandalism

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Feelings of a victim

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Best of the bunch

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Saying no

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CHAPTER 6: Assault Quick briefing Assembly plan

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Basic outline

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Add-on ideas

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Classroom activities True or false

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Attitude to assaults

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Assault in the media

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Poster design

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CHAPTER 1: Drugs Quick briefing Thinking about drugs can be confusing – for anyone. Society tolerates some drugs widely, and permits some to adults but not children. Others are available only through a doctor's prescription. Some are forbidden by law.

Assembly plan Basic outline Tell pupils that you are going to talk about drugs. A drug is a substance that can make changes in your body or mind, or both. Say that you are going to read out some descriptions of drugs – that is substances that can affect your body or mind. Pupils can be invited to guess which they are. You can pause between each part of the description to adjust the difficulty level.

Using this section, pupils can be helped: • to think about what drugs are, and how some commonly available substances are drugs • to appreciate some of the risks attached to drug use, and the need to protect people from harmful drugs • to discover which commonly available substances and drugs are legal and which are illegal

This drug is taken in liquid form. It is legal. There are no restrictions on who can sell or possess it. It is sold in many high street shops, in a range of styles such as latte, cappuccino or espresso. it is also widely made and drunk in homes and workplaces. It is said to give tired people more energy. Answer: coffee This drug is also taken in liquid form. Its use is legal for adults, but children are not allowed to buy it or consume it in a public place. Small quantities are said to help people relax, but in larger doses it can cause great mental confusion, affecting speech, movement and causing hangover. Answer: alcohol This drug is found in some ordinary household products, used for DIY or personal care. It is usually sniffed. It makes users feel dizzy or light-headed. It interferes with the working of the brain, and can also affect a person's heart and liver. Answer: solvents This drug is used either in its herb-like leaf form, or as a dark lump made from the resin. Users often smoke it, either mixed with tobacco or in a pipe. It can also be baked in a cake or drunk. it can make people relaxed, giggly, talkative or sick. Regular users risk damaging their mental health. Answer: cannabis This drug is usually smoked or dissolved in water and injected using a needle. It is known to be very addictive. Users can spend up to £100 a day on their drug habit. This is often thought to be a major contributor to levels of crime such as theft or burglaries, even muggings. Answer: heroin

Invite reactions to the idea that these are all drugs – and encourage those who identified them correctly.

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Then ask pupils to rank them in terms of how harmful they think they are. Which causes most deaths in the UK? (If pupils are used to "represent" drugs, as suggested in the add-on ideas, they can be shuffled around to indicate risk order.) Key points to get over are that coffee is largely harmless. Cannabis is categorised as a class B drug, and heroin as the more harmful class A. Pupils may have realised that alcohol is also extremely harmful if taken in large quantities. They may not be aware that solvents are very dangerous – more so in some ways than heroin. Solvents can and do kill, even people experimenting for the first time. Discuss the risks, then finish with an empowering message about drugs.

What we call drugs cover a wide range – of legal and illegal, harmless and harmful. The important thing for us is that we never do anything that we don't want to. No one has the right to tell us what to take. We should never be pushed into taking anything by anyone else. Someone who says that everyone takes drugs is wrong – most people never take illegal drugs.

Add-on ideas > As an option for the assembly organise five pupils each to represent one of the drugs. They can appear one by one, with prepared cards with key words which they reverse to reveal the name of their drug. > Add other drugs to the list. They could include anything – tea, anabolic steroids, ecstasy, or crack cocaine – that is relevant or potentially interesting to your pupils. A good source of information on drugs is the Frank website www.talktofrank.com > Ask pupils to rank the risks again, but this time look more at the effects on society, not the individual. Are there any differences?

Classroom activities Why have drug laws? Pupils can think about the reason for laws about drugs as they fill in the gaps in the following sentences. The missing words are listed below.

Drug laws can stop people doing harm to ……………………………… Punishing those who ……………… illegal drugs helps keep other people safe Drug users may steal to get ……………… for drugs. Some children are ……………… by their parents' drug use. harmed

money

sell

themselves

Once the sentences are completed, pupils can be asked to come up with examples of each.

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Drug law: true or false Here are four quick statements. Ask pupils to say whether they are true or false. To make things easy, in this case they are all true.

1. Selling illegal drugs is a much more serious crime than possessing them for your own use. 2. Selling Class A drugs, such as ecstasy or heroin, can be punished by life imprisonment. 3. It is an offence to allow premises, such as a house or flat, to be used by people taking drugs. 4. Police have powers to stop and search people who they suspect are in possession of an illegal drug.

Follow up with discussion – looking at why society needs these laws. Who are they there to protect?

You're not alone We are all part of a much wider society. What we choose to do doesn't affect just us. It also has an impact on other people. Encourage pupils to explore this using a class spider diagram. Place a teenager who uses drugs at the centre. Giving them an assumed name might make it easy to follow. Ask pupils to think about how that person's drug use might affect others. When they think of someone – parent, younger brother or sister, friends, health workers – add them to the diagram linked by a line. If you wish, add further lines from the new addition, showing why and in what ways the person is affected. If contributions dry up, prompt by adding more information about the teenager's drug habit. If they run out of money for drugs, what might they do? What if they became suddenly very ill through the drug use? Scrutinise the complex web, and discuss responses to someone who says, "it's my life, it doesn't affect anyone else".

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Not for me, thank you Say to pupils that you are going to think about some ways of saying no to someone who invites you to try drugs. Use the "hot seat" technique. One pupil takes a seat in the middle of the group. The group's task is to try to persuade the hot seater to experiment with some form of drug. The hot seated pupil has the task of saying no thanks calmly and decisively. Encourage the group to be imaginative and varied in their persuasion. They might use threats, promises, appeals to friendship, claims about the benefits. Swap around, to give as many pupils as possible a turn in the hot seat. Debrief by asking how it felt in the hot seat. Which invitations were hardest to refuse? Which responses were most effective? Did anyone feel angry at the requests? Finish by listing some of the useful approaches to saying no – changing the subject, making a joke of it, pretending that you just got a text message and leaving....

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CHAPTER 2: Theft Quick briefing Theft, or stealing, covers a wide range of crimes and anti-social behaviour. The principle – that taking someone else's property is wrong and that virtually everything belongs to someone – is widely accepted in broad terms. But some of the implications and details can provide lively and interesting learning opportunities.

Using this section, pupils can be helped:

Assembly plan

• to understand what it can feel like to have something stolen

Basic outline The aim of the assembly is to explore theft and stealing. Pupils will get a chance to check their understanding of what theft is. They will also look at its effects.

• to appreciate that taking something that isn't yours is wrong and can be punished by the law

• to think through what to do if they become aware of a theft

Today we are going to talk about stealing. Another word for stealing is theft. It means taking something that doesn't belong to you. Everyone knows that stealing is wrong. But do we all know what stealing is – and what isn't? Let us have a look…

Introduce characters, played by pupils, who say the lines as described below. After each one, all pupils can be asked – is this stealing? Invite response with a show of hands for yes or no:

Pupil 1: Someone I know said they took a pound coin from their mum's purse. Pupil 2: I heard about someone who was look-out. He agreed to watch out to see if someone was coming while his friend took someone's mobile phone. Pupil 3: I know someone who was given too much change in a shop. They knew it was a mistake. But kept the money Pupil 4: A friend of mine found a purse on the ground near the bus stop. She said, finders keepers – and kept it.

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Extend the discussion, invite views, as appropriate to the time available and other circumstances. End with an invitation for pupils to consider what it is like to have property stolen.

It surprises some people to know that all those things are a form of stealing. Why? Because they all involve taking property that belongs to someone else. You might say that the person who was lookout didn't actually take the mobile phone. It doesn't matter. Because they helped the person who stole it, they acted wrongly. Sometimes people think stealing isn't wrong if it is from a member of your family. But people who say that have a different view if their brother or sister, or someone else in the family, took a favourite toy or money from them. It is always a good idea, when thinking about actions, to ask – what if this happened to me? How would I feel if someone took my property?

Add-on ideas The following ideas can be added to the basic outline for a longer or more ambitious assembly. Some are just a question of delivery. Others will require preparation and planning. > Say to pupils that most people agree that stealing is wrong. But why? Invite everyone come up with ideas as to why it is wrong to steal. > Ask pupils to spend a minute or two thinking of a time when they lost something and didn't get it back. How did it feel? Allow some thinking time. Then invite pupils to call out. Ask how they might feel if they knew that someone else had actually taken it, or found it and kept it. How would that feel? > For each of the situations outline by pupils 1 to 4, ask "What could the person have done instead?" Invite contributions and discussions. Talk about how easy or difficult it is to do the right thing. > Prepare a groups of pupils to improvise and perform a short drama based on one of the situations. Encourage them to explore and communicate the emotions and thoughts of the characters.

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Classroom activities Feelings of victims How does it feel to have something stolen from you? In this exercise pupils are going to select words that they think best describe what it is like. Ask them to think of something personally valuable to them. It could be:

A present they really wanted A gift they were going to give a friend Their mobile phone A photograph of someone in their family when they were a baby Money they were saving up for something special

Then ask them to imagine that their property was stolen. Think for a minute about how they would feel. Then ask them to choose a word or words that describes that feeling. If necessary or useful, suggest some words for them to select from: hurt, sad, angry, fed-up, miserable, confused, worried, insulted, upset... Come up with a shared list of agreed words. Talk about them, perhaps in circle time. Do pupils think that the person who stole the items would realise the effect of their actions? Would the items mean the same to them?

Witness choices Tell pupils the following story:

A young woman called Jess is shopping in town one day. She is waiting to cross the road, when she sees an terrible sight. An older teenager boy snatches the bag of an elderly woman and darts through the crowd and down a sidestreet. He's gone almost before anyone can think what happened. People gather round the woman who has been robbed. Jess realises that she knows the thief. He is the older brother of someone at school. She wonders what to do.

Ask pupils what they think. What should Jess do? What are the arguments for doing nothing? What are the arguments for doing something? Discuss the options. Would Jess tell an adult? Who and how? Make sure pupils know they can give details of any crime anonymously – by phoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They can do it online too at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/giving-information Change the circumstances and explore how the situation changes. What if the theft happened within school, among some younger pupils?

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How did the three bears feel? Ask pupils to remind you of the story of Goldilocks. Then invite them to think about it in terms of the law. Goldilocks entered someone else's house, stole food, caused criminal damage to baby bear's chair, then, arguably, set up an illegal squat. Discuss the crimes, then split the class into groups and assign tasks as appropriate. For instance: > Write and design a poster to be displayed in the woods, warning householders to be alert to the criminal types operating in the area. > Role play an imaginary visit to the three bears some days later from a victim support worker. What would someone trying to help them say? How might the three bears talk about what it was like to come back after their walk? > Devise, and if possible record, a Crimewatch-style appeal for the young offender Goldilocks. > Prepare a press statement, as if from Goldilocks, apologising for her actions and the distress and loss caused to the Bear family. This is all a bit lighthearted – but still a good way to explore how actions affect others.

Finish the sentences Give pupils a chance to say what they think about property and ownership by asking them to finish the following sentences in their own words. They might do it orally, in a group, or as a writing task.

Not taking back a library book is wrong because… People who take flowers from the park are… When I hear that someone got their lost property back because someone else handed it in I feel… If you take something that doesn't belong to you, you will feel…

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CHAPTER 3: Graffiti Quick briefing Painting murals, creating artworks is good and positive. That's provided that it happens with the consent of everyone concerned—especially, the owner of the property where it appears. If it doesn't, then law regards it as a form of criminal damage.

Assembly plan Basic outline Begin with an introduction:

We've all seen painted buildings, words or symbols scrawled on walls or trains. One word that is used for it is graffiti. This is actually an Italian word we use in English. It means drawings.

Using this section, pupils can be helped: • to learn the key difference between permitted artwork and illegal graffiti and to gain greater appreciation of their environment • to gain awareness of the expense and trouble that graffiti causes • to appreciate the physical dangers that some graffiti sprayers risk

It can be confusing sometimes to know whether the graffiti or drawings are meant to be there. Are they some form of art, available for everyone to enjoy? Or are they an eyesore, a mess that ought to be illegal?

Then introduce the prepared pupils, who will each describe a form of graffiti. Invite the assembly to say – art or illegal eyesore?

Pupil 1: This graffiti is a giant spray-painting of a cartoon character. It was done by a student for a laugh. He did it very early one morning when no-one was around. He didn't want to get caught. A lot of people say it looks really funny. Pupil 2: This graffiti is known as a tag. It is just a signature, really – someone's identity mark. It was done on bus shelters, on a fence near the railway line and on a boarded-up shop. In fact, it can appear anywhere around the town. Pupil 3: This graffiti was done by a youth group one summer, working with a local artist. They put a lot of thought into the design, and talked to local people about what they planned. The council gave them some money for paints. Pupil 4: This graffiti is a racist slogan sprayed around the underpass in a city. It just consists of words, designed to offend and to stir up tensions between groups of people. No one knows who did it.

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After an appropriate level of discussion, help pupils to see the crucial distinction. When it comes to the law, it is not about how artistic something is. It is about ownership. Only the person with rights over the property can give permission for graffiti. If graffiti of any kind is sprayed or painted without that permission, the law may have been broken. The offence is criminal damage, and it is taken very seriously. Look again the four pupils set out above. Only pupil 3's example is legal. The rest were done without permission, and therefore are likely to be against the law.

Add-on ideas > Make a visual extravaganza of the assembly by showing photographs of graffiti to illustrate each of the examples. An internet search is likely to produce lots of examples which can be projected onto a whiteboard or other display. > Look again at each of the four examples of graffiti in the assembly. Ask how the illegal forms of graffiti might be turned into legal ones. What would need to be different? > Ask pupils to put themselves in the position of a property owner whose building is defaced. How would they feel? Give an example relevant to them, such as their own bag, pencil case or book. If they decorate it, that's one thing. If someone else decorates it without asking, that's quite another. > Discuss what to do if you know who was responsible for some illegal graffiti. Who can pupils tell? How might they do it?

Classroom activities Deadly designs Can graffiti kill? Tragically, yes. Tell pupils the following true story:

Very late on a dark Friday night in January, a 21-year-old man called Bradley and his friend Dan, who was 19, were seen spraying graffiti. They had climbed the high security fence around a London Underground track. They were spray painting the side of a tube train. The security guards who saw them shouted. The two men ran out across the tracks, and were struck by a moving tube train. Both men died at the scene from massive injuries.

Talk about the dangers of this and other forms of graffiti. Invite pupils to think about the impact on other people – the friends and families they left behind. Think too about the driver, who felt the jolt of the impact and made an emergency stop. Think also about the ambulance workers and police who cleared up the mess. What might they be thinking and feeling afterwards? Ask pupils to design and create a poster warning of the dangers of spray painting graffiti, reflecting any aspect of the discussion that has struck them.

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Costs of cleaning

It costs some councils over ÂŁ100,000 a year to clean up illegal graffiti. The figure for larger cities can be a lot higher. And that is without including the costs paid by businesses and householders in cleaning their damaged property Invite pupils to say what that money could be spent on instead. Together, or working in small groups, draw up a list of ways the money could better spent. Prompt pupils by offering this kind of list of the things councils spend money on: > playgrounds and other places to play and explore > swimming pools and leisure centres > bus services > rubbish collections > libraries and museums Ask each pupil to think of a message they would like to send to people who spray graffiti.

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My town Prepare pupils for some observation work. Say they have a week to look around their local area. Their task is to notice two types of place: > Somewhere that is spoilt by illegal graffiti – that needs cleaning up. > Somewhere that could benefit from brightening up with colourful designs – that would look better with legal graffiti. Compare what pupils think. Is there agreement about the places? Talk about different attitudes to graffiti and to the environment. If you cannot please all the people all the time, what is the next best option?

Broken sentences These five sentences about graffiti have been split in the middle and mixed up. Invite pupils to put them back together in the right order. Remind pupils that taggers is a common name for those spraying illegal graffiti.

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Graffiti is an Italian word

by calling Crimestoppers

2

Spraying graffiti without permission

meaning drawings

3

You can report taggers

to clear up

4

Graffiti costs many thousands of pounds

while spraying graffiti

5

People can be killed or injured

is likely to be illegal

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CHAPTER 4: Arson Quick briefing Arson, also known as firesetting, is a major problem. Even quite young children can become fascinated with matches and fire. Some develop serious firesetting problems, with potentially devastating consequences.

Using this section, pupils can be helped:

Assembly plan

• to recognise the dangers fire creates, and the damage and loss that can follow

Basic outline Use assembly time for an "agree-disagree" activity. If there is space, designate one wall or part of the room as "agree", the opposite as "disagree". Read out one of the statements below and ask pupils to position themselves, depending on their response. If they agree strongly, they can be firmly in the agree area. They can be towards it if they agree but only mildly. If they are undecided they can be between the two areas.

• to appreciate some of the reasons people start fires deliberately

• to think through what can happen when children play with fire

If space doesn't permit, use a show of hands (two hands for strong opinions). Either way, after each statement, invite pupils to say why they feel as they do. Encourage discussion and invite those who have changed their thinking to move places. The statements are a mix of opinion, facts, and good practice. Use them to explore what pupils are thinking, and to identify areas to work on in other lessons. Be sure to correct misapprehensions.

Agree or disagree? If the fire alarm goes off, stay where you are. It might be a false alarm. You should always check where the escape routes are in any building you are in. Watching fires is really exciting. Children should be allowed to play with matches so they learn respect for fire. It is natural to be curious about fires. Fires can be easy to start, and very difficult to control. Starting a fire deliberately is a very serious criminal offence. Making a hoax call to the fire service doesn't do any real harm. If I saw someone messing about lighting fires I would call the police. …add other statements relevant to the pupils or the local area.

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Add-on ideas > Bring the assembly alive by adding a visual element. Photographs of fires – forest fires raging, or the sad, desolate, burnt-out shells of buildings – can have a powerful impact and help key messages stick. With an audio system you can add sound too. > Before the assembly, invite a key group of pupils to gather data and information about the statements. They can present what they found at the end or at appropriate points during the assembly. Focus on aspects such as the law about arson (life imprisonment is the maximum sentence, for instance) and the harm caused by hoax calls. > Contact your local Fire and Rescue Service to co-ordinate your plans with what they can offer. Many run educational visits for schools. Some will provide materials of interest and value. Some may be able to bring a fire-engine – though it will respond to a 999 call if there is one, so planning cannot be perfect. > Based on the statement and the discussions, create a list of five things that everyone should know about fire. Make it your school's personalised list – so it includes actual exit routes as well as principles of handling matches and not using fire as a toy.

Classroom activities Reasons for lighting fires Experts say there are different reasons why some people deliberately start fires. Here are some:

Excitement – for the thrill of seeing a fire. Revenge – to get back at someone else. Money – because they hope to gain from it. Hate – to hurt a particular group in society

Talk about each of these. Then show pupils the following examples. Can they match them to the reasons above?

A teenager who has a grudge against the place he was educated sets fire to a school. The partners in a failing business set fire to their own property hoping to claim from the insurance company. A group of political extremists set fire to a place of worship. Some children, bored in the school holidays, dare each other to set fire to a skip.

Discuss each one. Invite pupils to say what a better reaction to the problem might have been.

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Messing about, then what...? Focus pupils' imagination by asking them to write a story based on this scene. First tell them the situation: One hot summer, during the school holidays, a group of children are hanging around in a bit of waste ground at the back of some garages near their homes. One of them has a cigarette lighter. He keeps flicking it alight and trying to set fire to things. A couple of the group tell him to stop. But he ignores them. He starts to gather dried grasses, twigs and bits of litter, and makes a mini-bonfire. Before long it is burning, and he starts to put bigger bits of wood from some broken furniture that is lying around. Some of the children are beginning to enjoy watching the blaze. Others are getting worried‌

What happens next? Let children finish the story in their own words. Prompt if you want with suggestions – that the garages catch fire, and cars and petrol burn, or that a concerned passer-by calls the police. What lessons can be learned from their stories?

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All the victims Every year, many schools suffer fires that have been deliberately started. Some are small and quickly dealt with. Others cause extensive damage. Use a class spider diagram with pupils to explore who is affected when arsonists attack a school. Ask them to imagine a school that has been so damaged by fire that it is unusable for over a year. Place the damaged school at the centre of the diagram. Then radiate out, adding people who are affected by it – and saying how their lives are affected. Include pupils and staff, who lose their work and property, and perhaps have to start going to a makeshift school in other premises. Include parents, brothers and sisters, others in the community, school visitors and supporters, taxpayers (who foot the bill), and so on. Don't, sadly, forget any school pets. Help pupils see that a fire can have a massive impact on many people for a long period.

Words on fire Try this exercise in word-use and negotiation. Ask pupils to think of four words that describe their thoughts about arson – and write them down. They get into pairs, share their lists, and, with their partner, choose four of the eight that they can both agree on. That pair teams up with another pair for the same process – agreeing just four words from their combined lists that they can agree on. Working in this way, the whole class should be able to settle on four words that sum up what arson means for them. And they will have done a lot of thinking, arguing and compromising on the way.

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CHAPTER 5: Vandalism Quick briefing Vandalism is a commonly-used word – in everyday conversation as well as by journalists, politicians and commentators. The crime it refers to is more formally known as "criminal damage". This section helps pupils understand more clearly what that means.

Assembly plan Basic outline Begin by explaining what vandalism is. List the various forms it can take. Use the list below and encourage other contributions:

Vandalism is damage to property – permanent damage, that needs fixing in some way. Such damage, done to someone else's property, without their permission, is a criminal offence. It can include:

Using this section, pupils can be helped: • to understand the range of actions covered by the term vandalism, and what it excludes • to gain an insight into the common causes of vandalism, and to think about what might reduce it • to appreciate the effect of vandalism on victims

Smashing windows Damaging cars Breaking walls or fences Damaging flowers or lawns Breaking or defacing playground equipment

Also talk about what vandalism isn't If damage isn't permanent, then it isn't really vandalism. So if someone throws an egg at a front door, it is not likely to be vandalism – though you still shouldn't do it. And, of course, it is not vandalism if you damage your own property (just a bit odd).

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Vandalism is often described as mindless. That is because people find it hard to understand what motivates people to destroy property. Invite pupils to think about three things often associated with acts of vandalism. These are boredom, alcohol and anger. Mention these, or flash them on a board, then say:

You are now going to hear three short examples of vandalism. When we've finished, you can think about how you might describe the reason for each. 1. Kaz has been in arguments all day. Her dad shouted at her. She had a row about being late when she got to school. Then she had an argument with her best friend. On her way home, she picked up a large stone and, on the spur of the moment, threw it through the window of an empty building. 2. A group of teenagers have been hanging around in the local park with nothing much to do. It gets late and they begin to challenge each other to stunts – like jumping over flowerbeds and climbing on young children's play equipment. What they do gets more extreme – until eventually they start to deliberately damage some of the play equipment. 3. Three friends have been to the pub, and have had quite a lot to drink. They are laughing and falling around as they take a short cut home down a street where lots of cars are parked. They decide it would be a good joke to run across the tops of cars, which they do, and damage several of them.

Invite pupils to identify which of the common motivations – anger, alcohol and boredom – is most relevant in each case. Talk about what alternatives might have helped. What could the people involved have done instead?

Add-on ideas > Focus pupils' minds on why vandalism is wrong. Talk about the effects on others. Damaging useful equipment could be annoying and irritating, or could have even worse consequences. It can be expensive to replace. How does the appearance of vandalism affect other people – their mood and even their behaviour? > If you have preparation time, involve a group of pupils in devising a role play for performance in the assembly. Select one or more of the incidents, extend and develop it using pupils' ideas. Make it more real by including references to the local area. > Ask pupils what they would do if they saw any of the three incidents happen. Remind them of the options – from telling an adult, reporting it to the police, or calling Crimestoppers. Discuss with them the benefits of each, and the importance of their own safety. > Gather a selection of photographs of vandalism. Discuss each one and invite pupils to say how it might have happened. What does motivate people to commit this "mindless" crime?

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Classroom activities Bingo vandalism Here is an activity designed to help pupils appreciate how many people are affected by vandalism. Prepare some "bingo cards" – a sheet of paper with a simple grid or table of three columns and three rows, making nine "cells" or boxes. In each box write one of the following: > Someone who has had their property vandalised > Broken windows > A vandalised car > A news story in a local paper or on television about vandalism > Someone who saw an act of vandalism > A damaged bus shelter > A local area which often shows signs of vandalism > Somewhere that is closed because of damage > Someone who believes that vandals should go to jail The idea is that each pupil tries to fill as many boxes as they can. Asking around within the class, thinking through from their own knowledge and experience, or taking the bingo card home and asking friends or relatives. The aim is not just to get the boxes ticked. It is to hear other people's stories and think about how widespread vandalism can be.

Feelings of a victim Invite pupils to get into the mind of victims of vandalism. Ask them to complete these sentences with appropriate words or phrases. The exercise can be a class discussion, or an individual writing exercise.

When the 82-year-old widow heard noises late at night as her garden fence was kicked down, she felt… When the football fan missed the game because the train was delayed due to vandalism of the rail track, he felt… When the mother took her children to the toilet in the park and found it closed through vandalism, she felt… When the headteacher found that her car wing mirrors had been smashed overnight, she felt… When the pupil found that the football he had for his birthday had been slashed with a knife, he felt…

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As well as filling in the words, pupils could be asked to draw a picture or design a poster that represents one of the scenes – to communicate what it feels like to have property damaged.

Best of the bunch Explain to pupils that the police, local residents and the council have come together to decide how to tackle vandalism in the area. They have come up with a number of suggestions of what to do The money available can fund only two of the ideas. Tell pupils that they are going to think about the suggestions, and vote on which two they think are most likely to cut down vandalism.

Clamping down on the misuse of alcohol, especially by young people. More activities at the local youth project, to help stop young people being bored. More police officers patrolling where vandalism is common. A telephone action line for use by anyone who sees vandalism occurring. A clean-up scheme, where those responsible for vandalism have to put right the mess or damage.

Enterprising pupils could contact their local community police officer and find out more about actual schemes to reduce vandalism.

Saying no Describe this situation to pupils:

You are hanging round with friends at the back of a row of houses. You are near the house of a woman that many of you do not like. She has complained to parents and the police about you playing in the street. One of the group suggests throwing stones at the greenhouse in the woman's garden. He says you could have a kind of competition – to see who can break a pane of glass. He says he knows the woman is away on holiday for a few days.

Ask the group to get into pairs. One person has to play the role of the boy who thinks you should throw stones. The other person has to say no. What would each say? The stone-thrower should be persistent, keep urging the other to join in and not taking no for an answer. The other should stick to their role, always refusing to join in. See how many persuasive arguments and responses pupils invent. And then swap roles, either with the same or different pairings.

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CHAPTER 6: Assault Quick briefing Most people realise that assault is an act of violence against another person. Threats of violence can also be an assault. So can acts such as pushing or spitting. This surprises some people.

Assembly plan Basic outline This assembly requires some preparation with pupils. It is a freeze-frame short drama. Any one, or more, of the scenarios described below can be used as a briefing for a group of pupils to work out an improvised role play to perform at the assembly.

Using this section, pupils can be helped: • to appreciate the different kinds of actions that can be included in the crime of assault • to think through the effects that assaults are likely to have on people • to explore what action they could take in the case of an assault

A group of teenagers are talking together on a street. An older man walks past, pushing a shopping trolley. Suddenly one of the teenagers darts towards the man and slaps him on the face. Two others from the group film the incident on their mobile phones. A girl at school is looking through her bag and realising she hasn't got her mobile phone with her. "Oh no", she's thinking, "where can I have left it?" She walks away angrily and notices two younger pupils looking at her. She goes up to them and pushes one away and aims a kick at the other one. Then she walks on, still upset. Three children are teasing another by not letting him have his bus pass. One waves it in front of him, but as he goes to get it, it is thrown or passed to one of the other children. As he approaches that child to get his pass, it is thrown to another and so on. Eventually almost in tears, the boy goes up to one of the children and kicks them on the shins.

When it comes to the performance, the scene should be acted at once in full. Then it should be begun again, but this time a teacher will shout "freeze". The actors all stop what they are doing, and stay like statues. Then a facilitator, who could be a teacher or a pupil, using a mock microphone chooses one of the actors, "unfreezes" them, and asks them the question "how are you feeling at the moment?" And perhaps, "What do you think is going on?" Explore the feelings that each had, and try to ensure that pupils can understand why what happened happened, and what its effect on the victim might be. Explain that what has been seen could well be regarded as a criminal act of assault. It is a serious offence, as all offences against people are. Point out that even something that seems not very important, or a joke, doesn't always seem like that to the victim.

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Add-on ideas > After the freeze-framing, ask pupils what the characters might have done instead. How might the drama have finished differently, perhaps avoiding an assault? Confident pupils may be able to improvise the new version as part of the assembly. > Devise a new scenario, based on something that pupils have experienced or might have heard about. The more relevant the scene is to the pupils' actual lives, the greater the impact will be. > Discuss what those carrying the assault in the drama could do to make amends? How might the injury felt by the victims be lessened in some way?

Classroom activities True or false Ask pupils to look at the following statements. Or read them out. The task is for pupils to say whether each one is true or false. 1. You can assault someone without touching them. The threat of violence is also an offence. 2. It makes no difference who is the victim of an assault. If it is a friend or a police officer, the law and the courts look at it in the same way. 3. Happy slapping is just a bit of fun – and a joke cannot be a crime. 4. Someone guilty of an assault based on hate – such as a racist attack – will face a more severe punishment. 5. The police are only interested in an assault if something is stolen. Answers: 1. True. And also note that if you are violent to someone, and actually hurt them, that could be an even more serious offence of "bodily harm". 2. False. Of course, the law gives protection to everyone equally. But an assault on a police officer is regarded as very serious. 3. False. There is nothing happy about happy slapping – it is a serious offence of assault and treated severely by the courts. 4. True. A crime which has a racist element – or shows hatred of someone's sexuality or religious belief – will be treated more severely. 5. False. Assault is a serious offence, and the police want to hear about it. The information can help stop someone else being a victim.

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Discuss each statement. Invite pupils to show that they understand not just the correct answer but why is it correct. For example, in question 2, discuss why police officers need additional protection. In what way do we all suffer if police officers are subjected to assaults? Or in question 1, talk about what happens if violence is threatened. Might someone who fears they are about to be attacked, hit out first? In which case, who is really responsible for the actual violence?

Attitude to assaults Ask pupils, working in groups, pairs or individually, to complete these sentences in their own words.

If I thought that someone was going to hit or push me I would… Someone who assaults a police officer should… I think the chances of me being the victim of an assault are… If I saw someone being assaulted I would… The best thing someone can do to reduce the chance of being assaulted is… If all assaults were reported to the police…

Share the contributions and invite discussion and agreement. Do pupils have different attitudes? Talk about how important it is to respect the views of others, even if they are different from your own.

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Assault in the media Once pupils understand the principle of what an assault is, organise a project around identifying instances of assault in the media. Two areas to explore are: > news reports that mention assaults – on television, radio, newspapers or online. > children's dramas, soap operas and other fictional representations of real life that contain an assault. Ask pupils to collect cuttings, or make a note of the details of the news story. For the soap opera, they can name the characters involved and say what happened. Invite pupils to say, if they can, what was the root cause of the assault – perhaps alcohol, revenge, anger, or to cover up another crime. Discuss the effect of the media coverage on the people viewing or reading. Would they be informed, educated or entertained by it? Or alarmed or worried? Try to think of one good outcome and one bad outcome of the coverage. Don't forget, assaults sometimes happen on the sports field.

Poster design Give pupils the task of designing an eye-catching poster. Use paper and pens or computer software, as appropriate. Invite them to choose one of two themes: > a poster that encourages people to report violence and threats of violence to someone in authority > a poster that warns people of the seriousness of violence and threats of violence, and the consequences for offenders Discuss what makes poster capture people's attention. Elements can include bold colours, attractive design, strong central message, something interesting, even intriguing or puzzling. Display the posters – and don't forget to note whether they have any effect.

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www.crimestoppers-uk.org Registered Charity No. 1108687 (England & Wales) and SCO37960 (Scotland).

Crimestoppers Primary Resource  

With the support of Legal and General the crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is please to show you the new Primary school resource.

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