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Blackwell makes a drama out of crime

Posted on February 08 2011 at 8:57:26

A short drama to be performed at a Blackwell college aims to bring the community together to help people avoid becoming a victim of “distraction burglary”.

The 20-minute play will be staged at Hunters Hill Technology College on Wednesday February 16 at 2.45pm to raise awareness of such offences, where thieves often pose as a representative from an official body to trick their way into people’s homes.

It is being supported by police in Bromsgrove who provided information and guidance for the production from West Mercia Police’s Knock Knock campaign which aims to reduce the number of distraction burglaries committed in the force area.

Officers will also be attending the event with crime prevention advice.

The drama has been put together by University of Wolverhampton students including Jacqueline Skeldon, who is also a drama teacher at the college. It is part of a Community Theatre module for their university coursework. Also on stage will be Tracy Jackson who is a team leader at Hunters Hill.

Students from the college will also be helping out at the event by taking front-of-house roles.

Organisations including Bromsgrove-based Age Concern, Bromsgrove District Housing Trust and the Parachute Regimental Association have been invited to the performance and members of the public are also welcome to attend.

There is no charge but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. People should ring the college in advance to book a place on 0121 4451320.

Jacqueline said: “This is about bringing the community together and raising awareness of how distraction burglaries happen.

“We discovered during our research that most people affected by this type of crime are not even aware that there is no such thing as ‘the gas board’ or ‘electricity board’ which distraction burglars claim to work for when they call at people’s homes.

“Our production shows the ‘grooming’ process which they use to gain people’s trust before they steal from them.”

She added that if the event was a success further performances may be staged for other local schools or audiences.

Bromsgrove District Inspector Julian Smith said: “We have good links with Hunters Hill through our Local Policing Team and we have been very pleased to help out with this initiative.

“Although distraction burglaries are fortunately relatively rare in this area when they do happen the victims tend to be older and vulnerable people.

“There are some important messages in this drama and anything that raises awareness of the issue and helps prevent people from becoming victims of this type of crime should be supported.”

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