Crucial Crew celebrates 25 years of helping young people stay safe

Crucial Crew

Published: Friday, 15th September 2017

Crucial Crew marks a quarter of a century of keeping young people safe this year.

Facts and figures

  • A total of 1,200 primary seven pupils from all 63 Borders primary schools will take part in a series of interactive workshops at Eildon Mill in Tweedbank from Monday 18 September to Friday 6 October.
  • The pupils will learn about issues such as home, road and rail safety, drugs and alcohol during the event which is co-ordinated by the Scottish Borders Safer Communities team.
  • It is estimated that over 25,000 children have attended Crucial Crew since it began in 1993 at Springwood Park in Kelso, with feedback from teachers indicating it is the highlight of the school year for many pupils.
  • In that time, Crucial Crew has been supported by various partners, with this year’s event involving Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, British Transport Police, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, National Farmers Union, Royal Highland Educational Trust, British Red Cross, Scottish Power and BT Scotland.

Among those to have been involved since the start of Crucial Crew is Gordon Simpson, a local BT Engineer.

Gordon Simpson

BT Scotland is proud to have supported the Borders Crucial Crew events over the last 25 years, helping young pupils to learn about making emergency calls and also about keeping themselves safe online.

“I have been installing the telephony kit since the very first Crucial Crew event 25 years ago and it is great to see it going from strength to strength.

“The kids love learning how to make emergency calls in a variety of stressful situations and it really makes them think about staying safe and helping others.”

Councillor Watson McAteer was the local police Chief Inspector in 1993, and helped organise the first Crucial Crew event at Springwood Park.

Councillor McAteer, who is now Chair of the Police, Fire and Rescue, and Safer Communities Board

“Crucial Crew arrived in the Borders 25 years ago and since then thousands of children, many of whom are now adults with families, are leading safer lives.

“The event provides a practical and enjoyable way of understanding and addressing a wide range of safety risks. This unique experience will equip them to deal with the daily hazards we all face during our life-time.”


Images of staff preparing for Crucial Crew’s 25th year are available at Scottish Borders Council’s Flickr page.