Judges announce young winner of arson poster competition

Winner Callum Stewart, centre, with Prevention Team Leader Darren Carson and Youth Engagement Officer Michelle Bates

A designed arson poster by Callum Stewart

Organisers of a poster competition aimed at highlighting the dangers of arson have announced the winner as 11-year-old Callum Stewart from Northampton.

The competition for under 18s was launched earlier this year by the joint Arson Task Force (ATF) and Prevention teams (Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service), who were looking for leaflets and posters to raise awareness of arson risk.

Callum’s design, one of 69 entries from across the county, is a brightly coloured poster using eye-catching illustrations, which highlights the different kinds of arson seen and includes details for some of the organisations to contact with information about incidents.

Callum, who entered the competition through his Scout group (46th Overstone), not only won a cash prize of £80, but will also see his poster design used in the community as part of the ATF’s work to reduce arson in Northamptonshire.

He said: “I didn’t really know much about arson and the damage it can cause, so I did some research and was shocked at the stuff I was reading.

“I wanted to make my poster eye-catching for all ages, but not overload the poster with too many facts. I wanted the pictures to stand out and the most important information to be there ready to find.

“I was really happy when my mum first told me I had won, but when I then heard how many people had entered, and that my design was picked, I was so shocked.

“I hope everyone who’s sees my poster remembers, ‘If you See something, Know something, then Say something.”

Callum’s mum Hayley Stewart commented:I’m really proud of the hard work and pure determination Callum put into his poster design. He worked so hard on it for days, and beamed with pride when he revealed his final poster.”

Andy Evans of the Arson Task Force, who was one of the competition’s organisers, said: “We were thrilled with the response we received to this competition. It was really designed to help raise awareness of arson in young people, as well as providing us with a tool to help educate others.

“We were so impressed by Callum’s colourful design which really included so many of the key messages we were looking for about the types of arson we encounter as well as how people can take action to prevent and report these incidents. I’d like to say a huge well done to Callum for coming up with his winning idea.”

The prize money was made possible through contributions from Crimestoppers in Northamptonshire, the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northamptonshire Police.

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