Billy’s lasting legacy: Lessons to save lives

Murdered Billy Dove, 21, of Hemel Hempstead.
Murdered Billy Dove, 21, of Hemel Hempstead.
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The family of murdered Billy Dove are creating short films to take into schools in their fight against knife crime.

They will form part of education courses for youngsters backed by headteachers and other education chiefs and due to be taught in Dacorum’s classrooms from September.

Trustees of Billy’s Wish, set up after the fatal stabbing of 21-year-old Billy in Hemel Hempstead’s town centre in November 2011, have enlisted the help of film company Boldface Productions and education experts to create the programme that will teach pupils about the dangers and consequences of knife crime and carrying weapons.

Charity trustee Jan Maddern said: “We are very proud of this initiative, which has grown from an idea by Billy’s dad Paul Dove and his fiancée Tanya Whitney.

“Our aim is to get a strong message across to pupils so that they can make informed choices and realise the consequences of carrying weapons. We are overwhelmed at the support that we have received for this project by the police and education experts.”

The charity’s work has been praised by Dacorum’s top police office Chief Insp Mike Pryce who said: “I think taking something like that into schools will raise awareness of how stupid it is to carry a knife and how people have to be conscious on a night out that if they see a fight someone could be carrying a knife.”

The course is for the school Years 6, 7 and 8, identified as the age groups that are most vulnerable to outside influences.

Year 6 youngsters will get a gentle introduction that will raise awareness and give advice about who to talk to and where help is available to deal with difficult situations.

An information and discussion session on choices and consequences will be held for Year 7 students and for Year 8 teens the course will present the hard-hitting facts about carrying a weapon and the consequences.

The films will involve children and teenagers acting out different scenarios and will include clips from Billy’s friends and family, along with celebrities, including Arsenal players, TV personalities, actors and an author.

Students from Kings Langley School have helped to develop the scripts and will be acting in parts of the films. Offenders have also contributed by discussing the consequences of their actions.

Ahead of the course launch Billy’s Wish has been working with schools to take students on trips to the Ben Kinsella exhibition in London.

Find out more about the charity online at