West London College students battled in an exciting Dragon’s Den format to pitch ideas of innovative ways to tackle social issues and crimes using new technology and social media. The Dragon’s Den event is part of a joint programme with the Metropolitan Police, which directs our students’ attention to local and wider social problems and encourages them to think about solutions.
The event was enhanced by the participation of students from The Lady Margaret School who were invited by the Hammersmith’s MPS Schools team in the spirit of local collaboration.
Seven groups of students pitched in front of a panel of judges with their projects on tackling crime with a five-minute presentation. The panel included Gareth Dixon from Young Hammersmith & Fulham Foundation, Paula Cooper from the Central MET team and Chief Inspector Jim Broackway, Hammersmith MPS. The panel assessed not only the originality of the project but also how well the product was presented by the students, helping them to improve their presentation and communication skills.
All groups presented great products which were praised by the panel. The third place went to a West London College Level 3 Public Services student who presented a video about acid attacks, which was filmed with the aim to distribute to schools to raise awareness about this crime and how to react when involved in such an incident.
A group of students from The Lady Margaret School and their project about sexting came second and they were particularly praised for their presentation skills. The winning project came from West London College Level 3 Public Services students who focused on moped-enabled crimes. The judges appreciated the innovative design of the leaflet and thought that this product was closest to the needs of the current market. The Met will now apply for funding for the winning project and all winning teams also received vouchers.
Paula Cooper, from the Youth Strategy, Engagement & Schools division of the central Met team said: “Our panel was impressed by all presentations and by the relevance of the issues chosen. This project helps students to understand problems in their own communities as well as the wider society and encourages them to think critically about possible solutions. The fact their project can actually be transformed into real solutions also gives them a sense of responsibility and the power they have as citizens to change things.”