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CrossCountry and Crimestoppers team up to educate Cornwall communities

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  • Train operator CrossCountry is supporting South West organisations to raise awareness of safe routes to report crime and criminal behaviour.
  • Working with charity Crimestoppers and social enterprise Unique Voices, a suite of resources has been launched help young people speak up and report exploitation – in particular around county lines activities.
  • The resources are funded by a £17,000 investment from CrossCountry’s Customer and Community Improvement Fund, which supports initiatives across the UK.

Organisations from across the South West joined forces in Redruth today (Wednesday 21 February) to launch a joint initiative to help young people speak up, stay safe and stop crime in Cornwall and across the South West.

An educational event at Redruth’s Regal Theatre saw the launch of a suite of materials aimed at helping young people creatively explore the topic of exploitation – in particular around County Lines drug trafficking.

Jointly hosted by national charity Crimestoppers and social enterprise Unique Voice, the initiative is largely funded by train operator CrossCountry, which operates train services throughout Cornwall and the South West.

‘County Lines’ is a term used for organised illegal drug-dealing networks where criminals recruit vulnerable people, often in rural and suburban areas, to transport drugs and cash across the country – frequently using the rail network.

With trafficking a continuing problem for communities in Cornwall, it’s hoped that encouraging young people to think and talk about the dangers of exploitation can lead to an increase in reports of similar crimes.

Sarah Gould, Regional Director for CrossCountry’s West & Wales region, said: "We’re pleased to support this important initiative as part of this year’s Customer and Community Improvement Fund.”

“We know that exploitation and trafficking are a key concern for communities in the South West – as a rail operator, it’s important for us to support the prevention of these dangerous activities as strongly as we can.”

A total of £21,880 has been invested into the initiative, with £17,880 provided by CrossCountry as part of the business’ Customer and Community Improvement Fund.

Karen MacDonald, Crimestoppers' West Country Regional Manager, said: “We're pleased to be able to bring this important resource to educators in our tenth year of working in partnership with Unique Voice.

"The valuable support provided by CrossCountry will ensure that even more children and young people across Devon and Cornwall speak up, stay safe and help to stop crime - particularly when it comes to risks around exploitation and County Lines trafficking.”

Educators and community leaders can view and share resources on exploitation and more at www.wwyd-wccs.co.uk

Krystal Keeley, Co-founder and Director at Unique Voice, said: “This brand new resource aims to equip children and young people with an understanding of exploitation, the forms it can take and the awareness of who to turn to when they need support.

“It’s been fantastic to work with CrossCountry and Crimestoppers to empower young people to spot the signs of exploitation, for themselves and for others.”

To report crime anonymously through Crimestoppers, call 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org 

For more information about CrossCountry’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund, visit www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/xc-community-hub/ccif-fund

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