In 2014 Breck Bednar an Air Cadet aged 14 years old was groomed online. The paedophile aged 18 lured him away from home and then murdered him.
Breck had previously seen a lesson at school about online grooming, but he didn’t think it was relevant to him. His mother Lorin Lefave has dedicated her life to telling young people about the dangers of online grooming, attending schools and speaking to pupils, along with forming the Breck Foundation.
In May 2016 PC Steve Austin from the Metropolitan Police Tower Hamlets VPC, heard about her work and contacted her. She explained that she wanted the lessons to be peer led, young people teaching young people. They agreed to utilise the 5000 Volunteer Police Cadets in London to produce a lesson and deliver her message to young people.
A delivery plan was put together in December 2016 and in the following February, 15 cadets attended a weekend camp in Surrey along with Lorin and Brecks friends where they developed a power point with lesson plans. Over the next few months the cadets worked with Rare Day Films to produce three videos, they also worked with Graphic Evidence to produce a power point lesson. Both companies were very supportive and agreed to waive any fees.
In May 2017 Tower Hamlets Cadets started to deliver the lesson in schools across Tower Hamlets. The cadets reflected on the early lessons that were delivered and decided that some slight changes to the power point were needed. With support from AOL the cadets could make the improvements necessary to the lesson, they also kindly gave the cadets 200 memory sticks.
In July 2017 the first 50 Cadets were trained to become Breck Ambassadors and deliver the lesson of others. A month later a further 48 ambassadors were trained.
A milestone was reached in September 2017 when the Breck ambassadors started to deliver the lesson across London and within 8 weeks over 6000 pupils had taken part in the interactive lesson.
In January 2018 the Tower Hamlets VPC attended the Mini Police Programme and micro VPC conference held at the Radisson Blu, Durham City. They delivered a very powerful presentation on the dangers of online grooming, so much so there was not a dry eye in the house! This presentation was so well received there is a demand to rollout out the Breck Ambassadors programme through the VPC network across the UK.
Due to their dedicated work in taking over 8000 young people through the power point lesson, the Breck Ambassadors were awarded second place in the 2017 Lord Ferrers Award.
It was recently announced that the Breck Ambassadors have also been short-listed for the prestige National Crimebeat Awards.
Prior to the National Crimebeat Awards ceremony in April 2018, the Cadets and Brecks mother Lorin will tour London in an open top bus, have a ride on The London Eye and enjoy a meal in a top London hotel. The Cadets will then deliver a 7-minute presentation to the judges then await their decision. We wish them good luck in the ceremony.
The Breck Ambassadors are specially trained Volunteer Police Cadets.
If you would like to find out how your Cadets could become Ambassadors please contact PC Steve or PC Reece at HTVPC@met.police.uk.