Budding graphic designers, photographers, and film makers from West Herts College have made art in a bid to reduce crime and encourage responsible behaviour among young people in Watford’s bars and clubs.
The project, run in partnership with Hertfordshire Constabulary and Oceana nightclub, has seen the college students producing posters, radio adverts and a short film that communicate crime prevention messages to young clubbers in Watford.
The students’ work was exhibited at an awards evening at Oceana, The Parade, on Friday, April 25. They were presented with a certificate and gift vouchers, which were sponsored by drinks company Diageo, in front of their families.
A number of the posters will be used in the town’s drinking establishments. The work also forms part of the curriculum and will be assessed as part of their BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 in Art & Design.
Eastenders actor Jamie Lomas, who plays Jake Stone, was also at the event.
Dave Wheatley, chief inspector for Watford, said: "I’m incredibly impressed by the quality of work produced. Their brief, as if in working in industry, was to design work which would appeal to their peers and pass on vital information, and they have definitely achieved that.
"Crime levels are falling in Watford as a whole, but we have seen some marked crime reductions in the town centre especially, with violent crime, theft and anti-social behaviour coming down.
"We will continue our efforts to make the town even safer and I thank the students for their fantastic creativity and helping us to achieve our aims."
The project was developed by the Watford Central Neighbourhood Team and since its launch last year it has attracted enquiries from other police forces and partner agencies around the country looking to replicate its success.
Principal of West Herts College, Gill Worgan, said: "We are proud to work with young people on a daily basis. It is a fantastic thing to see young people represented so positively, in front of such important people.
"They are a credit to themselves and the college. We try to give students the best experience we can in terms of what it is like to work in industry, but the experience gained from engaging with the police and local nightlife to produce a useable product is something we cannot simulate in college - so thank you for giving us this opportunity."
Alex O’Reilly, general manager of Oceana Watford, added: "Through this project the students are taking responsibility for their town. The work is not only art but also conveys an important message in a way that their generation would truly understand and we will display as much of it as possible in the club."