Northampton schoolchildren create anti-gang app

A group of award-winning students have created their own interactive app to help children avoid being exploited.

The Gang Awareness app has been put together at Northampton School for Girls and has the full backing of Northamptonshire Police.

It is designed to equip youngsters with the ability to make the right decisions in difficult situations.

About 46,000 children across the UK are thought to be involved in gangs.

The students won a County Schools Challenge with their idea and developed the storylines during PHSE (personal, social, health and economic) lessons.

Ella, one of the team of seven that put the storyline feature together, said: "We had a lot of input on how it was going to be.

"When you play it, you start by making a character and you can change its clothes and things like that to make it more suitable to you."

The app then follows the character through a storyline about "kids in secondary school making a decision" – whether it is good or bad – and the consequences of it.

Det Insp Andy Blaize, lead on child safeguarding at Northamptonshire Police, said: "I’ve seen child exploitation increase over the years. The situation’s probably never been as bad as it is now.

"I think it’s really important that children get involved in creating this app, otherwise the message is often coming from adults and it can be a bit patronising, a bit preachy."

Headteacher Cristina Taboada-Naya said the app was important because her staff could not keep an eye on the children when they were not in school.

"Whilst they’re here, they’re safe and we know how to keep them safe, we can give them constant reminders and prompts," she said.

"In the electronic age, it is outside of that time that we are less able to protect them – so we have to arm them with the knowledge and tools and resources to keep themselves safe and the app allows them to do that."

Title: Northampton schoolchildren create anti-gang app
Source: BBC – Homepage
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Date: May 6, 2024 at 07:24AM
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