Breck Bednar, 14, pictured, was groomed online by 19-year-old Lewis Daynes, who lured the youngster to his flat in Essex in 2014 and killed him.
Daynes is serving life for Breck’s murder, in what crown prosecutor Jenny Hopkins described as "one of the most cruel, violent and unusual cases we have dealt with".
The murder of the 14-year-old schoolboy from Surrey has become a cautionary tale for teenagers across the country thanks to a campaign involving a number of different police forces.
It contains the chilling voice of Daynes, pictured below, from the recording of the 999 call he made after murdering Breck.
The film was made for Leicestershire Police by Affixxius Films of Loughborough, at a cost of around £30,000.
It was funded by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, with contributions from police forces in Essex, Surrey and Northamptonshire.
The four-minutes-and-20-seconds-long film was made with the consent of Breck’s mother, Lorin LaFave, who features in it.
It was the central part of a campaign designed to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and the risks of online gaming.
Police forces in Essex, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Surrey were involved in the campaign, which highlighted the need for individuals to question who their online friends really are.
It also aimed to raise awareness that some adults exploit gaming platforms to befriend children and groom them.
The campaign was targeted at several different audiences, ranging from boys and young men to teachers, parents and the general public.
A school resource pack was produced to accompany the film screenings.
Senior teacher from Rosebery School Carolyn Saul explains how the bespoke lessons plans were developed with students to educate young people on online grooming.— Surrey Police (@SurreyPolice) September 20, 2018
To find out more about the film visit https://t.co/OAFVAUr5D2 #BrecksLastGame #BreakingTheCycle pic.twitter.com/lTQ0mBrpNQ
And in April 2019 the four police forces used their social media channels to launch the film to a wider audience – making it publicly available online for the first time.
Making an impact
The film has been seen by tens of thousands of pupils at secondary schools as part of their PSHE lessons. In Leicestershire and Northamptonshire alone some 46,000 pupils had seen it by the end of June 2019.
#BrecksLastGame will be shown to secondary school children across #Surrey with bespoke lesson plans. Breck’s mum Lorin Lafave explains Breck’s story: https://t.co/iF8moeTrI0 BreakingTheCycle Read more: https://t.co/OAFVAUr5D2— Surrey Police (@SurreyPolice) September 19, 2018
And it went viral among the public, with more than one million views within a week of it being released online last April. The film has been watched by millions of people to date and has won several awards in the past year, including a silver award at the Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards.
The film has also prompted a significant amount of engagement by people on social media.
But most significantly, police have reported an increased number of referrals to child and sexual exploitation teams.
In Northamptonshire alone, reports of suspected victims of child sexual exploitation have risen by 20 per cent.
Catherine Oakes, head of media services, Leicestershire Police, said: “The feedback we’ve had from supporters, parents and educators has been overwhelmingly positive. Everybody involved is immensely proud the film is reaching teenagers who could be at risk of grooming and exploitation.”
The campaign has been praised by Breck’s mother for its “positive impact".
She added: “Parents and educators alike have been supportive of this tool to educate and empower young people to keep safer online by recognising signs of grooming and exploitation through gaming relationships. Although hard hitting, pupils are engaged with the realness of the film as much of their lives are played out online as Breck’s was.”
LaFave commented: “The overall message of the film, ‘do you really know your online friends?’ makes a lasting impression on young people to help them make safer choices for themselves online.”
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