National Crimebeat Awards 2024

Winner: Khan Odita of Urbanscape Community Garden

1st: Merseyside – Urbanscape Community Garden.
2nd   Greater London – DIVERT
3rd    Derbyshire – White Ribbon Campaign.
Highly commended: West Midlands – Tracy
Highly commended: North Yorks – Cleveland Police Cadets.
Highly commended: East Sussex – Fraud Awareness
Special Award Hugh Burnett Prize: West Sussex – Ransomware

The 2024 line-up, including the High Sheriffs

1st Prize – Urbanscape Community Garden from Merseyside    

At the age of 14, Khan Odita realised that an area very close to his house had become a primary dumping ground for all kinds of unsavoury things and rubbish. Khan’s local community in Toxteth, Liverpool is an area that has a long history of criminality and anti-social behaviour with low levels of community esteem. Fly- tipping was an increasing problem blighting the locality and making it an unpleasant area to live. He was determined to do something about this with the aim of eradicating fly-tipping, rubbish dropping and fostering community cohesion and developing a pride in where you live.

Although Khan was super enthusiastic about the project and totally committed in his aims, it was much harder to bring his neighbours along with him on the journey.  Nonetheless, he (and his mum) set about cleaning the area up and leading by example in a number of different ways.  They carried out litter picks, organised skip days, and generally were seen out and about in their community tidying up.  Little by little, support and momentum grew and the community joined Khan on his journey.

Eventually he set up a CIC (Community Interest Company) and formed the Mulgrave Street Action Group with the aim of developing a community garden. What started as the acorn of an idea for a young boy became the oak of the community and transformed what had been a derelict dumping ground into a garden filled with flowers, plants, seating areas and later vegetables for the benefit of all.  His aims have been met and Mulgrave Street is now a tidy and beautiful area of which the whole community is proud.  Our judges felt that Khan and the Mulgrave Street Action group were very worthy winners of our top prize.

2nd Prize – DIVERT from Greater London    

DIVERT is an holistic programme that prevents young offenders from perpetuating bad and criminal habits.  It started in Brixton in 2015 and is now one of the busiest custody suites across London mostly because of this hugely successful programme.  DIVERT’s seven young volunteer ambassadors are key to the success of this intervention programme.  All have previously been in police custody and received support from a Divert Custody Coach themselves. Having turned their own lives around, they share their lived experiences and are highly effective in engaging with other young people who find themselves in custody.

The DIVERT Ambassadors are impartial, unbiased and compassionate, working closely with the young people with whom they engage, helping to redirect them from the behaviours that have led to their arrest. They encourage and support them in employment, education and training. They also play a vital role in developing the future of DIVERT and are totally committed to reducing the level of violence on the streets of London.

An exemplar to the rest of London and indeed the UK, showing through early intervention, what you can become if you choose a better path.

3rd Prize – White Ribbon Campaign from Derbyshire      

The Voices in Action Derby Youth Council were pivotal to developing and implementing a city-wide campaign, which ran during the ‘16 days of Action’ of the 2023 White Ribbon Campaign.  White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls, by addressing its root cause and to change long-established and harmful attitudes and behaviours around masculinity that perpetuate inequality and violence and the judges felt that this group had really made an impact through their work.

As part of their campaign the determined group developed and implemented a series of activities including producing white ribbons for all young males in Derby Secondary Schools to wear to show their endorsement of the campaign, as well as launching a giant white ribbon competition.  However, the judges felt that the most powerful and bold initiative was the development and launch of a scenario based video, which makes a strong stand against the inappropriate conduct of peers. It educates young men about the appropriate language and behaviours that should be used towards women and girls. It challenges and encourages men and boys to speak out against misogyny and the more serious offences which this can lead to. Search for this video on YouTube under Derby City White Ribbon Campaign – it’s brilliant.  Powerful in its own right but has the added impact of the messages being endorsed by Derbyshire Cricketer, Wayne Madsen and Joe Wildsmith from Derby County FC.

Highly Commended – Tracy – West Midlands    

Denzel Kira aka Poet49 is an aspiring young poet who addresses social issues through his art, with a growing social media following. Denzil was supported by The MAC Project (Music and Change) which seeks to engage with young people in Coventry, particularly those who feel disconnected with their current education or need a positive environment to keep them off the streets. It also by helps them to progress careers in music.

Find his videos TRACY [spoken Word Short Film] on YouTube, which Denzil not only wrote but also through his newly acquired skills and thanks to the support of The MAC Project, he cast, scheduled and directed. These videos tell the stories of so many young people in the Coventry area, which are not understood or explored in depth.  This brilliant 3-part video, which has attracted a large following on social media and on YouTube, focuses on some of the real issues that draw young people into criminal behaviours. The lived experiences of those involved in these videos convey how domestic abuse, drug misuse and gang culture, for example, have no positive outcomes or consequences.

The power of the films is through these young people, showing other young people that they are not alone in the challenges which they face and importantly, that there are alternatives to lives overshadowed by criminal activities. Do take time to watch the video, not least to hear Denzil’s mellifluous voice tell stories of young disaffected people – they are really powerful.

Highly Commended – Fraud Awareness – East Sussex           

We have all become much more aware of fraud and cyber crime – but perhaps not enough.  The Brighton and Hove Police Cadets decided to further raise awareness, especially to those who are most likely to be affected.  They conducted a piece of work around fraud, which included visiting victims of telephone scams. They reviewed the research which identified that many young people do not feel that they are at risk of being a victim of fraud and cybercrime, as they are ‘too savvy’ for it to happen to them.

Their research drove them to reach out to communities of all ages and to raise awareness of the signs to look out for. They had identified that far too many of us did not seem to check before ‘clicking links’ or giving out our personal information. They went out into the community to spread the word about cybercrime and internet scams by attending events, giving out leaflets, conducting door knocks, library drop-ins and group talks to reach as many members of the public as possible with a clear warning message.

But this wasn’t enough for them, the cadets also wanted to know that their messages had been understood and taken on board. Furthermore, they created a survey to help with this and whilst the results were really positive, they felt that although they have armed people with information, their job is not yet done!  And so they are still out there continuing with the initiative, by continuing to spread the word and building on its early success. We can all learn something from this great piece of work.  

Highly Commended – Cleveland Police Cadets – North Yorks.     

Cleveland are a relatively new Cadet Team and have a programme to gain an insight into local policing and crime and working with Police Officers to help make their community a safer and happier place to live and work. They were provided with an opportunity to contribute to this, by using innovative and creative means to find ways to help reduce level of crime in particular, violence, burglary and offences effecting the under 25’s.

Having considered information shared with them by the Crime Prevention Team, as well as supporting the police with their knife reduction campaign they also engaged in a project to make their community more aware of the need to protect their homes and families.  The Cadets delivered Christmas Cards to over 500 homes containing a happy festive message but it also included crime prevention information and a message of support for the vulnerable, with information about agencies who could help and support them, especially at that time of the year.      

The Cadets regularly support many community and charity events and they often use these as an opportunity to engage with the local communities, as it provides an ideal platform to run and manage their crime prevention campaigns.  Their work continues with a 2024 plan to help drive crime reduction further and to increase crime awareness including a plethora of ideas –  Cadets Stands in shopping malls, property marking events, community on line alert forums, house to house questionnaires and along with Police Officers, visiting victims of crime.

Hugh Burnett special award – Ransomware – West Sussex

In 2023 the Bishop Luffa school had a major ransomware attack on their school which shut down all the computers on their network. Although a specialist team was brought in through their Insurance Company there were two special young people who got ahead of the game and made a significant impact into the investigation. What began with their own investigation into the ransomware group, it also led to their active involvement with the School’s Leadership Team. They were taken seriously, when they realised that they had discovered some new developments and were well ahead of the professionals.

The young people worked diligently and at pace to help resolve this time sensitive issue. They developed a blog post to ensure the timely information was available to both the Leadership Team and the Police, which greatly assisted their investigations.  This award recognises the significant impact of Max and Theo, who, by their determination, dedication, professionalism and commitment to do the right thing, played a significant and valued role in ensuring  damage limitation and importantly, preventing further crime, disruption and minimising harm. A worthy winner of the 2024 special award.

National Crimebeat Awards 2023

Winners – Lancashire

Runners Up – Nottinghamshire

Third Place – East Yorkshire

Highly Commended – Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear

High Sheriffs’ Association Award – Tyne & Wear

Burnett Presentation Award – Nottinghamshire

Special Award – Lincolnshire

Project Summaries

Lancashire: By Young People 4 Young People

One of the neighbourhood policing team’s tasks is to go into schools and deliver talks to pupils about keeping safe in their day to day lives. The police cadets attend the school talks as pupils and they identified that the material was out of date, especially around staying safe online and social media.

The cadets put their own lesson plans together and delivered them to the local primary and high schools. Each lesson included a question and answer session where the pupils could ask honest questions and make it as interactive as possible.

The project was a big success with the cadets’ lessons being used by the local policing team and youth offending teams. All the recipient schools have asked for them to reattend to deliver their lessons to new pupils, and other local schools have invited the cadets in.

Nottinghamshire: Support Through Sport

At the age of 16, Tranai found himself in a similar situation to many young people within inner-city communities and began to get involved with the negative influences around him. After starting boxing at a local club, Tranai was able to shift his mindset and applied the attributes that he gained through sport to his general life. Tranai managed to achieve good grades in his final year of school, but many of his peers did not and so he did his best to support those around him through sport and mentoring. setting up Support Through Sport.

Tranai is hands on, and at every opportunity the team will always do their best to inspire young people and encourage pro-social behaviours and youth development.

Alongside sport-based intervention and intensive mentoring, Support Through Sport also delivers workshops, positive trips and experiences, volunteering programmes, leadership projects, motivational talks and outreach in the community.

East Yorkshire: TBZ Community garden

The two young brothers that planned and delivered the project had been involved in anti-social behaviour in their area, regularly coming to the attention of the police. A lack of provision for young people led to community tensions about them hanging about and behaving in an anti-social manner.

Supported by their Youth Justice worker, the boys decided to transform a disused and overgrown area of their street into a community garden in memory of their older brother Ryan, who they lost to suicide, creating a safe space for young people to gather.

The local policing team have identified that the garden has reduced reports of anti-social behaviour, connecting the street as a whole, and young people gathering there respect what it stands for. A neighbour says it is a pleasure to speak to the young people that use it.

By supporting the garden, police have forged positive relationships with the young. The two boys have not been ‘dealt with’ by the Police for any criminal activity since they started the work.

Merseyside: KidsKast

KidsKast is a podcast made by ‘Kids for the Kids’.  KidsKast interviews do a deep dive into choices and consequences.

This project aims to educate children and young people (CYP) about the serious consequences of crime, to prevent and reduce initial offending behaviours, reduce re-offending, and enhance community cohesion. The aim is to support CYP to understand the consequences of crime, and help them to navigate their way out of ASB and other potentially criminal situations.

The impact of the project is to gain noticeable improvements in CYP engagement, improve feelings of self-worth, and to stimulate motivation so that CYP realise their potential.

The CYP behind KidsKast were and still are instrumental in the foundation and growth of KidsKast.  They set out designing the logo, producing and structuring interviews, selecting / approaching guests and then conducting the interviews.

South Yorkshire: Make a Change

Carlton was an 11 year old pupil at the Pupil Referral Unit when he attended the Make a Change presentation. The impact on him was profound and he made the choice to change his life path, handing in weapons at the same time.

Carlton assists in the delivery of the programmes and educates other young people in similar situations to those he experienced, and realising the consequences before it was too late.  Make a Change uses young people’s lived experience to educate other young people to make life saving choices.  Young people relate to their peers’ experiences and the programmes are delivered to schools, colleges and community centres.

Carlton has authenticity, commitment, and drive. The positive impact Carlton and the project in general has had on individuals with chaotic lifestyles is a joy to see.

Tyne & Wear: Operation Hayness (GRIP)

In early 2022, there was an increasing number of calls received by Northumbria Police regarding youth anti-social behaviour fuelled by alcohol consumption. The objective of this project was to identify premises that were selling alcohol to minors – a known factor in youth disorder which was having an extremely detrimental effect on the safety and wellbeing of the local community.

The Cadets believed that they could be of assistance. In the presence of plain clothed Police Officers and Trading Standards officials, the Cadets stepped up, offered their help and, acted as test purchasers at newsagents, convenience stores and off-licences surrounding several of the North Tyneside metro stations.

Thanks to the efforts of the Cadets, three shops were issued with fixed penalty notices and now risk losing their licence to sell alcohol due to their illegal actions. A further positive was the ripple effect on other businesses selling alcohol, with local intelligence confirming that there was a reduction in the area of alcohol-based youth anti-social behaviour.

Lincolnshire: Seven Knights Ambassadors

A winner of a National Crimebeat award in 2022, Knight School join us once more. The premise is simple, children at the school devise and undertake projects to earn seven different badges.

The Seven Knights initiative takes a proactive approach to community cohesion and social harmony. The children are taught that if something looks wrong, then it probably is and to do something about it. Despite being young they can be the catalyst for action. The objective is to allow children the opportunity to not only devise their own projects but have a voice at meetings and become influential members of the community.

The children in years five and six are all engaged in a project called ‘My Oath’ whereby they consider their actions and positive impact they can have on their community. they also speak in public on crime related subjects including alcohol harm, internet safety, anti-social behaviour and bullying.

Gallery of 2023 Awards

Royal Visit

We are honoured that HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO is attending the annual National Crimebeat Awards ceremony on 18th April. This is our twentieth anniversary and we are proud of all the young people who have received recognition during that time.