News: Youth Crime Strategy Unveiled
Friday, 25th June 2004
A major initiative to keep young people out of trouble is to be launched on Monday 12 July.
Wyre's new Young People and Community Safety Strategy is a three-pronged drive prompted by the area's 2001 Crime and Disorder Audit.
Results of the audit have been analysed by Wyre Community Safety Partnership, a team of key officers from Lancashire County Council, Wyre Council, Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Fire and Rescue and Wyre Primary Care Trust.
Issues surrounding young people in the borough centre on three main themes and a variety of proposed solutions:
1. A response to juvenile nuisance through provision of young people's places, skateparks and youth shelters.
2. A co-ordinated approach to young people deemed to be at risk of drifting into crime or not in education. Youth and community workers will team up with local schools, Youth Offending Team members, SureStart and Connexions. Targeted activities such as, for example, team-building skills, a possible extension of youth club activities, possible skateparks and before- and after-school clubs will put such young people on the straight and narrow.
3. More support for inter-generational work, such as work between young people and old people on local housing estates.
Mick Piela, Lancashire Youth and Community Service manager in Wyre, said:
"We are all for a law and order approach to youth crime but that is only part of the story.
"There are young people at risk of falling into crime and they have to be targeted to keep them in the mainstream.
"There is also a public perception that youths are making trouble even when they are not. People of all ages will be the winners if we can tackle public fear at all stages - those involved in crime, those who may become involved in crime and those who are simply 'hanging around' because there is little else for them to do.
"Such an approach is pretty new. The old approach involved each agency developing its own plans, whereas joined-up thinking allows each agency to target each particular aspect of a problem in a co-ordinated way - we each have our own specialism.
"We also want to involve young people themselves - they are part of the solution as well as part of the problem. That is why we are involving the local district youth council in this project."
Lancashire County Council's Youth and Community Service is the lead partner in this particular project on behalf of Wyre Community Safety Partnership. Other areas of public concern will be tackled in separate strategies to be devised by Wyre's Community Safety Partnership.
The strategy is to be launched at a presentation to Wyre's district councillors and county councillors at 6pm on Monday 12 July in Wyre Civic Centre Council Chambers, Breck Road, Poulton. MPs Joan Humble and Hilton Dawson have been invited.
For more information, contact Mick Piela or Lisa Bennett, project manager, on 01253 893102.
For media enquiries only please contact: Neil Graham on 01772 531095