LEADING national figures in the fight against youth crime will gather tomorrow for a special performance of a hard-hitting crime drama that warns teenagers of the dangers of getting involved with gangs and guns.
Senior representatives from the Home Office, National Crime Agency and the Probation Service are all due to attend the public performance of Terriers at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool on Thursday, February 27 – hosted by Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy, who is an ambassador for the play.
Terriers – which has already been seen by more than 50,000 young people across Merseyside as well as schools in south London and prisons in the region – speaks directly to young people to bring home the stark reality of becoming involved in serious crime.
It also addresses issues such as drugs and sexual violence.
Police Commissioner Ms Kennedy said: “I am delighted that so many high-profile figures in the fight against youth crime are heading to Liverpool to see for themselves the powerful impact of Terriers.
“The play speaks to young people in a language they understand and in a way that really hits home. It brings to life the far-reaching consequences of getting involved with gangs and the horrific consequences of using a gun or knife.
“Terriers has the power to help a young person make better choices and ultimately save lives. I want to get its powerful message across to as many young people as possible, on Merseyside and beyond, and hopefully this special public performance will be a new starting point for the play.”
Among those attending the performance will be MPs Luciana Berger and Stephen Twigg, senior representatives from the Home Office’s Ending Gangs Youth Violence Team and the Prevent, Protect and Prepare Unit, as well as leading figures from the newly-formed National Crime Agency.
Senior representatives from councils, health services and prisons on Merseyside will also be attending, as well as senior officers from Merseyside and West Midlands police.
Ms Kennedy added: “This play brings to life the difficult decisions young people can and do face and highlights the serious consequences of getting involved in crime, not just for them personally but also their families.
“If we can make young people more aware of the dangers of committing crime, maybe we can help them make better life choices.”
The Terriers is about to commence a five-week tour around schools in Merseyside and it is hoped the production will travel to Scotland in the summer for the Edinburgh Festival.
The play, which is written by Merseyside playwright Maurice Bessman, was first commissioned by Merseyside Police in 2008.
Royal Court Liverpool Trust’s chief executive Gillian Miller said: “Terriers has become a major part of the Trust’s education and outreach programme. Our partnership with Merseyside police continues to develop and it is great that the play is now attracting interest from all over the UK.
“We are committed to developing the project further over the next three years and will continue to work in schools throughout Merseyside and beyond enabling as many young people, families and youth agencies to see Terriers as possible.”
Tickets for The Terriers on Thursday, February 27, are available for £3 for young people and £5 for adults from the Royal Court Box Office on 0870 787 1866 or on the website at royalcourtliverpool.com.
Details and tickets for the school performances are available at terriersplay.co.uk