Breck’s Last Game: Story of teenage boy’s murder to be dramatised in police film
Breck Bednar was groomed online via a gaming platform by 19-year-old Lewis Daynes, who turned the youngster against his family and friends before persuading him to visit his flat in Essex in 2014.
The teenager was brutally killed by Daynes, now serving life for murder, in a crime described by crown prosecutor Jenny Hopkins as “one of the most cruel, violent and unusual cases we have dealt with”.
Bednar’s mother, Lorin, plays herself in a short film – currently being made by Affixxius Films of Loughborough – called Breck’s Last Game. The other parts in the film, which is costing around £30,000 to make, are played by actors.
The film, which will be around five minutes long, is to be launched in September and is aimed at warning teenage boys about the dangers presented by people they may meet online.
Plans to release it earlier this year were set back after feedback from child protection professionals and others prompted further edits and the inclusion of some new scenes to highlight the nature of the grooming, which took place on a gaming platform.
Police comms teams are hoping that the film will replicate the success of Kayleigh’s Love Story; a short film made by Leicestershire Police, also in partnership with Affixxius Films, that depicted how 15-year-old schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood was groomed and subsequently raped and murdered in 2015 after meeting a man online.
Since it went online in January 2017, the award-winning film has been viewed an estimated 35 million times according to police.
In Leicestershire alone, school screenings prompted more than 40 children to approach the police to make “disclosures” which, in some cases, have led to investigations into those suspected of committing offences against children.
Matt Tapp, director of comms and engagement at Leicestershire Police, who commissioned both films, said: “I’m hoping, as Kayleigh’s Love Story did, that children will watch it and that they will come forward and make disclosures to us and they will tell us about who they are talking to.”
He added: “The overall aim of Breck’s Last Game is to prevent teenage boys from becoming victims of child sexual exploitation and grooming.”
The film aims to raise “greater awareness that this is a problem that faces not just teenage girls but teenage boys and that one of the ways that boys are currently being groomed is through online gaming platforms, as Breck was,” according to the comms chief.
Four forces (Essex, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Surrey) are working on the campaign to promote the new film in schools and further afield.
Individual media launches will be held by each force in September, with Bednar’s mother in attendance. The film will then be offered to schools in the four areas, prior to it being made available online in January next year.
Tapp commented: “I think the school screenings will generate parochial media coverage in the four areas and by the time we come to launch it in January I think there will be enough of an appetite whetted from the public to see this film go viral.”
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