Yesterday evening (March 21) Chief Constable Alec Wood and our PCC Sir Graham Bright awarded funding to, and celebrated the work being undertaken by the community with young people. I was asked to provide an update on the work being undertaken in partnership with Huntingdon District Council and the local police team to support young people at risk of being involved in crime. Report writing is never one of my most favourite tasks, however as I wrote up our summary I felt so very proud of the work our police team have undertaken I wanted to share this with the community.
Transforming lives: The transforming lives project has been put together to help try and reduce involvement of young males (between 13 and 15) in gang type activity in the Huntingdon North ward. Funded by the Hunts Community Safety Partnership, male officers from a range of partner agencies (district and county council, police and schools) will be involved as role models. We are dedicating an officer for the entire project, along with visiting attachments from young male response officers. We hope to connect these young men with public service workers in their area, build trust and reduce the opportunity for them to become involved in ASB and crime. It’s also an excellent way for our teams to get to know and understand what it’s like to be a young person in Huntingdon.
Youth boxing project, St Neots: This project is aimed at reducing crime and support young people subject to domestic abuse and offer something for the young people involved in troubled families. We are looking at targeting those between the ages of 11-17 years. The Community Partnership have kindly approved funding which will allow us to use the Boxing Club every Thursday between the hours of 5.45pm and 7pm providing an arena for up to 24 young people to be coached and mentored through this part in their lives. This project has been organised and lead by PC Carl Harris from the St Neots team.
Young people in volunteering: We are working with an 18-year-old volunteer who is helping us communicate specifically with the younger community. Alex is involved in conducting online surveys, sending youth E-cops messages and listening to feedback. Alex is also currently undertaking a project with local officers to “map” community resources to help us connect with local volunteering schemes and community led support groups.
Art fund: Funding has just been agreed to help young people in Ramsey achieve a bronze level “arts award” as part of a national accreditation. As one of the highest need areas of poverty in Huntingdonshire, the area has previously not attracted specific support for young people at risk of becoming involved in crime and disorder. PCSO Clare Darbyshire has attracted funding for this project which will use art, and a passion for graffiti to engage with young people. This scheme will address the specific needs of a community troubled by low level, persistent anti-social behaviour, helping connect young people with support and understanding action and consequences.
Work experience: Huntingdonshire has taken the lead for the Constabulary to support young school leavers undertaking police work experience. Targeted specifically at talented young people from BME (black minority ethnic) communities Huntingdonshire officers will take advantage of our proximity to the Constabulary headquarters hub, hosting three weeks of work experience for young people from all over Cambridgeshire. During the week we will open out the jobs in the Constabulary, visit the fire arms range, traffic unit, control room and explore several other areas of the role of police officer and PCSO.
Inspector Paul Rogerson.