DON'T be a victim . . .
That is the message to schoolchildren from a pioneering project set up in Kirklees to protect 10 to 13-year-olds.
The aim is to make sure youngsters report offences and to develop ways of preventing them becoming victims.
A support network and educational resources will also be built up.
Schools in Newsome and Thornhill are involved in the project.
Kirklees Council's development officer for the project, Paula Noble, said: "At the moment we are talking to groups of children within Years 7 and 8 to raise awareness of personal safety and explore the boundaries of right and wrong.
"We will then be going into assemblies to talk about how children can prevent themselves becoming victims of crime and hopefully setting up self-referral drop-in centres and a support system."
The project was launched in response to a Crimestoppers survey which showed that in Kirklees 55% of children do not report crime.
The survey also found that 42% of children worry about crime across the UK.
More than 50% would not report crime to the police, 45% would not tell their parents if they had witnessed a crime and 40% felt that nothing could be done about crime.
Ms Noble said: "One of the findings of the survey was that repeat victimisation can act as a catalyst for future offending.
"Therefore offering support to these young victims becomes all the more necessary."
The work is being funded by the Government's Children's Fund and managed by Victim Support Kirklees.
Team leader Anvar Mulla said the project - believed to be the first of its kind in Yorkshire - was funded until March 2006.
Future work would include links with youth organisations in Newsome and Thornhill.
He said there were also plans to produce an information pack and CD-ROM, develop a drama project and eventually set up a junior support network for young victims of crime.
He said: "There are many organisations and services which cater for young offenders but very few for the victims and we believe this project could make a real impact and reduce the number of our schoolchildren who fall prey to crime."