Young people from Wigan are working with Manchester-based arts company Odd Arts to create a film that will warn others about the danger of getting involved in anti-social behaviour and crime at an early age and encourage both young people and victims to get involved in restorative justice.
The group, from Norley and Marsh Green, are part-way through the six-week project and have created a storyline featuring young characters who choose to get involved in ASB, face difficult consequences as a result and choose to get involved in restorative justice to help make amends.
Restorative justice is a way of resolving conflicts peacefully, when both victims of crime and perpetrators can choose to make contact, with the support of experienced staff, and make decisions about what will happen next. It aims to reduce the chances of issues recurring, repair any harm caused and enable victims to move forward.
Local victims of crime will also get the chance to talk about their experiences on the film, to help any viewers who might have considered getting involved in ASB to understand victims’ feelings.
Odd Arts project worker Jess Noonan said: “The overall aim of the film project is to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime in this area and to explain what restorative justice is all about.”
The plan is to show the final version of the film at an event at a regional mainstream venue along with other films produced by young people from across the North West. It will then be made available locally as a resource for those working with victims of crime to help demystify restorative justice and encourage greater uptake of it.
Tom, 13, from Marsh Green, said: “The film shows why people shouldn’t do anti-social behaviour. We’ve thought a lot about the consequences and I didn’t know that some of those things could happen so I’ve learned not to do anti-social behaviour.”
Chloe, 13, from Norley, added: “It’s been fun. Doing acting and knowing that it will help others has been good.”