GUN AND KNIFE crime was the focus of a hard-hitting presentation given to teenagers.
Pupils from Honley High School were among the first in Huddersfield to catch a glimpse of some of the deadly weapons recovered by police.
But what the youngsters didn’t realise was that they were all imitations.
Pc Rory Romani, of West Yorkshire Police’s firearm support unit, delivered a shock-approach session – called Think Life Not Knife – to warn youngsters of the dangers of carrying weapons, whether real or fake.
The talk has been devised to make students aware of the armed response they may receive from police – including being Tasered – if they get caught with knives or guns.
It comes after 84 West Yorkshire stabbings were committed by people under 24 between January and July 2009 alone.
There were also 26 youngsters aged between 11 and 18 convicted of gun offences.
Pc Romani, who created the presentation, said: “This is about the harsh reality of guns and knives. We are letting them know what we as police will do if you are caught walking around with a gun or knife.
“We are not your parents or school teachers. We are armed police officers and we could be pointing a Taser or baton gun at you – or a more lethal weapon.
“It is a scary place out there. We are working towards making it safer for our kids.”
The one-hour session was presented to students in Years 10 and 11 at the school. Pc Romani will also be visiting other Kirklees school in the coming weeks.
The students gasped as they heard how they could face prison sentences of up to four years for carrying knives and up to 10 years for firearms – even fakes.
Pupils also got chance to see real police footage and some of the shocking injuries caused by guns and knives.
Year 10 pupil Sam Rochford, 14, said: “It’s something we’ve not learned about before and it is exciting seeing all the different weapons.
“I personally don’t know anyone who carries a knife or gun, but it is good we are learning about it.”
Deputy headteacher Heather Rogers said: “I think it is a very high profile situation with teenagers. We are just very aware as a school that we make them think about what happens on the street and that they think carefully about the choices they make.
“We are giving them as much information we can so they can make sensible choices.”
A total of 90 presentations have been delivered to more than 7,000 West Yorkshire students so far.
Schools wishing to book a talk can email Pc Romani at firstname.lastname@example.org