Rapper Champagne Bubbler helps steer Hertfordshire youngsters away from knife crime
Hertfordshire Police's Gangs and Schools team is working with the rapper to help young people in the county who are believed to be at risk of criminal exploitation.
Rapper and spoken word artist, Quinton Green aka Champagne Bubbler, is passionate about tackling knife crime after spending much of his youth on the peripheries of gangs and violence.
Quinton, who was once a victim of knife crime himself and was previously stabbed seven times, set up Knife Crime Victim Support, to help steer young people away from similar experiences.
The Gangs and Schools team is working in partnership with YC Hertfordshire to run a music project led by Quinton to talk convincingly about his experiences.
The grime/garage artist has worked with Stormzy, Wiley and Lethal B, he said: “I looked at my Hertfordshire class this week and thought, hold on a minute, this is a group of disaffected youngsters, some of which are excluded from mainstream school, yet they are all sitting and writing about emotive words, verbs and metaphors and learning how to use a thesaurus.
"A picture says a thousand words, heads down, writing, learning and off the streets, to see this was really encouraging and actually quite emotional.”
Sergeant Helen Croughton, from the Gangs and Schools team, said: “The project has been a huge success so far with fantastic engagement and commitment from the young people, it allows them to create the type of music that they enjoy whilst learning to express themselves without the glorification of gang culture and violence.
"The course encourages aspiration and ambition and we are really excited to see what they will achieve by the end of the course.”
Music and sport forms a key part of the engagement with young people across the county as part of the #LivesNotKnives campaign and demonstrates that other life choices are available and can lead to success.
Jenny Coles, Hertfordshire County Council’s director of children’s services, said: “This fantastic project has given these young people an opportunity to build positive relationships with each other and with our team at YC Hertfordshire and the Gangs and Schools team.
"Together, we have supported those who attended and seen them grow in confidence, while developing their skills as artists alongside one of their role models.
"Early results have shown how learning whilst doing something you love can have a really positive effective on our youth.”