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South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
Crucial Crew

Crucial Crew is an educational programme that is free for all year six students in South Yorkshire. It is delivered at the Lifewise Centre in Rotherham where there is a film-set environment featuring locations including a court room, supermarket and street scene. Students take part in a variety of interactive scenarios, covering topics from road safety and anti-social behaviour to child sexual exploitation.

‚ÄčThe provision is run by South Yorkshire Police’s Community Safety Team and extends to Special Educational Needs schools, Pupil Referral Units and Learning Centres.
South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is among the organisations that assist in the delivery of the programme.
Lifewise manager Margaret Lawson said: “The unique selling point of the centre is its purpose-built set and real-life backdrop.
“The interactive setting helps us to teach visitors about safety and citizenship with the aim of reducing crime and improving the quality of life for South Yorkshire residents.”
The SYSRP, working with Sheffield Council, employs and funds staff to deliver the road safety scenario at Crucial Crew which consists of a 30-minute presentation about the journey to secondary school.
Topics covered are:

  • Knowing the Green Cross Code and safe road user behaviour
  • Identifying hazards to pedestrians, including distractions
  • Understanding stopping distances of vehicles
  • Looking out for friends
  • Journey planning
  • Bright and reflective clothing

Margaret added: “The casualty data tells us that children in this age category (Y6) are more vulnerable to becoming pedestrian casualties, due to the changes in their travel patterns as they move up to secondary school.
“At this stage in their life, many children gain a lot of independence without having the experience and skills to be able to keep themselves safe.
“It is so important that they are made aware of the increased risks that they will face and how vulnerable they are on their new independent, unfamiliar journey.”
During the 21/22 school year, 93% of all South Yorkshire schools attended Crucial Crew.  This is the equivalent of around 14,000 pupils (depending on cohort numbers) receiving a road safety message. For the academic year 2022-23, the centre is on target to have 98% of South Yorkshire schools attending.