Criminals caught in the blink of an eye!

SUPPORTING POLICE: Mandy Ingham with PCSOs Andy Lowe and Kevin Barlow
SUPPORTING POLICE: Mandy Ingham with PCSOs Andy Lowe and Kevin Barlow
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A TEAM of creative young crimestoppers will represent Wigan in the area final of a national enterprise competition.

The 10-strong team from Westleigh High School beat fellow pupils to earn a spot in the Greater Manchester final of the LionHeart Challenge, organised by Greater Manchester Police.

The Year 9 pupils had to design a product which would help detect or solve crimes, before pitching their ideas to a six-strong Dragons’ Den style panel of professional judges.

The winning team, whose design was a set of contact lenses fitted with a miniature camera allowing shoppers to record crimes while out and about, will now go to the Reebok stadium to compete against the representatives of the other Greater Manchester boroughs.

Other ideas included a straw which changes colour when a drink is spiked with drugs and various types of alarms and security devices, including ones which could be fitted to wristwatches.

After designing their crime-busting products, the pupils had to face an illustrious panel made up of two representatives from GMP, two judges from the Chartered Institute of Management and Accountancy, school parent-governor Sue Foster and Julian Ashton, from local business Lemonzest Creative.

Westleigh enterprise co-ordinator Craig Wall said: “It was quite a testing brief which we thought they would find difficult but they really engaged with it, and when the Assistant Chief Constable of GMP came down in the afternoon he was really impressed with their ideas.”

Headteacher John Banks said: “Our students entered into the communal spirit of solving challenges presented to them, and by encouraging them to think about community and wider social issues, they will have gained invaluable skills.

“Events such as this help to provide a voice for young people.”

Inspector Liz Sanderson of the Atherton Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We wish the students well with developing their ideas for crime prevention products.”