Published: Wed 13th September, 2023
A variety of schemes have been helping to divert young people from anti-social behaviour and crime in Charnwood.
Projects have included supporting young people to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing, take up physical activity and boost their self-esteem.
The work has been led by Charnwood Community Safety Partnership which includes the borough council, police, county council, health agencies and others. It secured £149,000 through the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund and additional funding was provided by the partnership to bring the total of the project to £250,000.
One year on and the project has worked with several partners in the area to deliver outreach programmes and activities to engage and empower youngsters.
Go-Getta, a local community interest company has facilitated positive activities and one to one sessions to raise aspirations of young people and deter them from getting involved with anti-social behaviour and crime. Most activities took place through street-based youth work, bringing positive interventions to community locations and engaging young people at risk of involvement in anti-social behaviour.
Around 139 young people have taken part in positive activity sessions and Go-Getta has also coached, mentored and enabled individuals to access further support by attending college open days, CV writing and help with preparing for job interviews.
Love4Life, a Loughborough-based charity visited schools in the borough to deliver presentations to around 2,500 young people through assemblies. The presentations were focused on increasing their confidence and self-esteem to inspire them to make better lifestyle choices. Over 100 young girls received additional support through workshops, and some received one-to-one sessions. Those who engaged with Love4Lifed, shared that they really appreciated the opportunity to speak to someone about their mental health.
Bystander training has been delivered to community organisations and businesses affected by anti-social behaviours, giving them the confidence and tools to challenge unacceptable behaviour.
A number of anti-social behaviour workshops have also been delivered in local schools to help raise awareness and educate students.
Safer Streets funding has also been used towards purchasing two mobile CCTV cameras and a motorcycle barrier to prevent footpath misuse, graffiti removal and the replacement of vandalised concrete steps at a community sports facility.
Cllr Liz Blackshaw, chair of the Community Safety Partnership and also the Council’s lead member for communities said: “It’s great to see the positive impact these projects have had on young people in the borough so far.
“The aim was to engage youngsters in activities which will divert them away from crime and anti-social behaviours while also inspiring them to make better choices and that is exactly what the project team have been able to do.
“I’m pleased we have been able to work in partnership with a number of partners to reach a large number of youngsters across the borough and hope that work can continue after the project comes to a close early next year.”
The bid for the Safer Streets funding was supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews said: “The roll-out of these programmes is good news for our communities who consistently place anti-social behaviour as their top priority.
“Anti-social behaviour not only causes emotional distress, it is often the gateway into more serious offending. The earlier we intervene, the higher the likelihood young people will begin to make positive life choices that will keep them out of the justice system.
“Prevention is a key theme running throughout my Police and Crime Plan and I am pleased Safer Streets funding is supporting my drive to increase opportunities and provision for vulnerable young people who might otherwise be drawn into risky behaviour.
“Clearly, there is no quick-fix to anti-social behaviour but addressing the root causes and understanding what drives young people to offend will help more young people achieve their full potential.”
Different agencies deal with different types of anti-social behaviour. The Council has created an online guide which helps people direct reports of ASB to the right organisation. Visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/asb.