The independent charity Crimestoppers youth service ‘Fearless.org’ will continue in Surrey for at least another three years after Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro agreed to extend the funding for its dedicated outreach worker.
Fearless.org offers young people non-judgemental advice so they can make informed decisions about reporting crime and allows them to give information 100% anonymously, using a secure form on the charity’s website.
The Fearless outreach worker Emily Drew actively engages with young people across Surrey and provides education about the consequences of their choices around crime.
That message is reinforced through campaigns that encourage safe and anonymous reporting of issues such as knife and drug crime and those involved with County Lines – including speaking up about those who regularly carry weapons.
Since its launch in Surrey in 2018, Emily has spoken to over 7,000 local young people and provided training for over 1,000 professionals including GPs, social workers and teachers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, she has been carrying out online Fearless.org education sessions, which have been attended by more than 500 people from across the county.
There has also been a big focus on reaching young people through social media with a recent campaign focused on spotting the warning signs of exploitation from drug gangs.
PCC David Munro has agreed to continue funding Emily’s Fearless role through a grant from his Community Safety Fund, which helps projects large and small improve community safety across the county.
He said: “For our young people in particular, the last year has been an extremely testing period with disruption to their schooling and exams at such an important stage in their lives.
“Sadly there will be criminals trying to exploit the situation and target our young people during these uncertain times.”
“Violent crime and the threats posed by ‘County Lines’ gangs recruiting teenagers to become part of their drug supply operation, are very real issues that police here in Surrey are tackling right now.
“The role Emily is doing through Fearless is invaluable in helping empower our young people to make their communities safer, which is why I was delighted to extend the funding so she can continue the important work she is doing across the county over the next three years.”
Surrey’s Fearless Outreach Worker Emily Drew, said: “Since launching Fearless.org in Surrey two years ago, we have been reaching out to thousands of young people and professionals across the county to spread the Fearless message.
“The response has been amazing but we want to go even further so I’m delighted this funding will enable us to continue the work we’ve started over the next three years.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with a number of challenges but now that children are back in school, we will be looking to provide more of those inputs direct into the classroom. If any schools or organisations in Surrey would like a free session, then please get in touch!”
Chair of Surrey Crimestoppers Lynne Hack, said: “Young people can often understandably be very reluctant to report crime, so the education Fearless can provide to them is really critical to us, particularly during these difficult times.
“Emily as a youth worker is completely non-judgemental and can spread the message that young people can speak up about crime to us with the 100% guarantee that it will be completely anonymous and no one will know they have contacted us.”
If your organisation works with young children and you would like to arrange a Fearless training session, or you want to learn more about the work that Emily is doing in Surrey – please visit www.fearless.org/campaigns/fearless-surrey