Breck’s Last Game is a short film about a 14-year-old boy from Caterham who was murdered by a man he met online.
It is to be shown to school children across Surrey to help raise awareness of online grooming.
Teenager Breck Bednar was killed by Essex computer engineer Lewis Daynes in 2014.
Daynes ran an online server where Breck, and several of his friends, played games online and it was through this forum that Daynes groomed Breck over a period of 13 months – telling him a series of lies, turning him against family and friends, and eventually luring him to his flat on the promise of handing over a fake business.
Through the use of avatars, the film captures the events leading up to Breck’s death and also features the real 999 call made to police by Daynes.
The project is the work of an innovative collaboration between four police forces – Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Essex and Surrey – and has been made with the active support of Breck’s mother Lorin LaFave, who appears in the film as herself.
The film will be rolled-out in schools across the county, where it will be shown to children aged 11-16.
Speaking at the launch of the film, Deputy Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “All young people have an online life, but many do not appreciate the dangers that come with forming online relationships. We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves about what to look out for and how to help. As a police officer, but probably more importantly as a parent, I really hope that this film will promote and provoke us to have conversations at home as well as in the classroom. Knowing the right questions to ask as a parent or guardian can go a long way to keeping our children safe.
“I am so grateful to The Breck Foundation, to the other police forces involved, and colleagues in education that have put this project together, so that something positive can come from such a terrible tragedy.”
Daynes, who was 18 at the time of the offence, was convicted of Breck’s murder and sentenced in 2015 to a minimum of 25 years in prison.
School children in Essex, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire will also be shown Breck’s Last Game as part of planned lessons over the coming months with a trailer of the film now available to view online.
The full version of Breck’s Last Game, which carries a warning that, if it were to be screened at a cinema, it would carry a 15 certificate, won’t be released publicly until 2019 to enable it to be shown as part of planned lessons.
Breck’s mother American born Lorin said: “Breck’s story shows how easily grooming can happen. He met the predator through an online friendship group and would have been flattered to have an intelligent, older mentor helping him expand his gaming skills.
“At the time, I believed the offender was older than he was because he was so controlling and manipulative, even with me, so it’s important for young people to realise not only can predators lie about their age, where they live or who they are online, they can also be a similar age to the victim. They are not always the stereotypical ‘creepy old guy’.
“It’s so important for us to raise awareness of the fact that boys can be groomed too. Breck’s came after international media surrounding the Rochdale and Rotherham cases, where the victims were all girls. His version wasn’t the ‘typical’ type of grooming people had heard about in the news. His story shows even regular school boys can make mistakes if they aren’t educated to recognise the signs of grooming and exploitation.
“I hope through the Breck’s Last Game campaign, young people will take on the real life lessons from Breck’s story so they are able to look after each other, keep safe, and reach their full potentials. Our intention is to educate young people so they are empowered to make safer choices for themselves online”.
The film has been funded by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach with additional contributions from Surrey Police.