North Wales Police, in partnership with the Wrexham based social enterprise Eternal Community Media produced the innovative film entitled ‘Flipped It’, which was shown to an invited audience at Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay.
Through the power of storytelling and music the film, which features three former addicts, aims to demolish barriers and challenge the widely held perception of ‘once an addict always an addict.’
The 45 minute film tells the stories of Lisa Clutton, Nicky Merexes and Alan Michael Andrews who turned their lives around from one of crime and persistent offending fuelled by drug or alcohol addiction to one of recovery and active citizenship.
WARNING: This film contains strong language and adult themes. Viewer discretion is adivsed.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Simon Shaw, who co-produced the film said:
“The link between drink or drug addiction and crime and disorder is well understood. Police officers regularly deal with those with serious substance misuse problems. Those interactions will often involve the arrest and prosecution of persistent offenders. At times, for the offender and the police officer, this process can feel both repetitive and futile with all parties of the view that arrest and prosecution is unlikely to result in any meaningful change in the future behaviour of the offender.
“However, the reality is that many do find the support and encouragement they need to live free of addiction and as a consequence stop behaving in an antisocial manner or committing crime. Encouraging and supporting more people into recovery has enormous and obvious benefits for wider society. Each interaction a police officer has with a persistent offender who commits crime, or behaves antisocially, as a consequence of their addiction is an opportunity to encourage and signpost them towards treatment and recovery. For many offenders an acceptance of help only comes when they have hit rock bottom, when their future looks bleak and they are yet again in a cell block following arrest.
‘Flipped It’ is a slang phrase, popular amongst criminals, that refers to making a healthy profit by selling on stolen goods or illegal substances. In the context of this film the term has been flipped to describe the positive and radical change that people undergo when they move from a life of addiction and chaos to one of recovery and order.
The film has been made by a small cast and crew made up of police officers, police and community support officers, people in recovery and the newly created social enterprise Eternal Community Media (ECM).
Marcus Fair, the founder of ECM is in recovery from a 25 year history of substance addiction and offending. He knows only too well the huge role film making played and continues to play in his own recovery and he uses his experience and insights to support others.
The film will be shared with front line police officers and made freely available as a training resource to all substance misuse treatment agencies, recovery organisations and interested parties.