A Sandwell police team has designed and written a book for year seven secondary school students in the area, to help them make sensible decisions and to deter them from crime.

The book is called ‘Choices’ and explores themes of gangs, drugs, knife crime and anti-social behaviour.

Written by the Sandwell Partnerships team and illustrated by a local businessman and volunteer Steve Tidman, who has an interest in painting and drawing. The book has been published in its hundreds and distributed to all secondary schools in the Sandwell borough who have signed up to the idea.

The interactive book asks the reader a series of questions and gives options on hypothetical situations they could find themselves in. It is the latest addition to Sandwell Neighbourhood Team’s youth toolkit to equip school teachers with the opportunity to discuss real life problems. The book also highlights the dangers of online grooming, identifies mental health issues and helps to transition year seven students from primary schools to secondary.

Sgt Kym Jones from the Sandwell Partnerships team, said:

“I feel really positive about the creation of this book and am happy to see such a dedication from Sandwell in helping young people in our borough by exploring topical issues through different mediums.

“I am sure this will be very helpful for schools to use as a talking point and I thank everyone who has got involved in the project from Sandwell Council to all the school staff.”

Students will be given the opportunity to discuss any topics with their teachers in PSHE lessons, particularly aimed at tackling drugs and youth violence. All secondary schools in the area have signed up to go through the book with their students and those who are identified as potentially vulnerable, will be safeguarded and supported by the local police team. The book is even being trialled by a Sandwell Council team that supports local families and has started to be distributed to other police teams in the West Midlands.

Numbers and websites for local agencies and national charities have been provided for those who wish to discuss any personal problems they may face at home or at school.

For more information on the book or to request a copy, email the Sandwell Partnerships team: sandwell_partnerships@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about different types of crime is encouraged to visit the West Midlands Police website for help and advice on www.west-midlands.police.uk. Crime can be reported via Live Chat on the website between 8am and midnight, or you can call 101 anytime.

To remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.