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Force’s child-centred policing team roll out sport initiative

Cumbria have started a 12-week physical activity programme for at-risk young people.

One-Up, provides free placement in sport activities organised by external providers and is designed to help break the cycle of low level offending and ASB.

It follows a series of successful pilots ran in Carlisle which finished in May of this year – the results of which were positive and three young people involved subsequently made changes to their lifestyle and are no longer involved in criminality.

Some of the clubs involved include Maryport Amateur Boxing Club and Happy Hooves Riding Stables.

The programme was created by two officers from the Child Centred Policing team – A/DS Scoffham and Acting Sergeant Smyth.

A/Sergeant Smyth said: “In the Child Centred Policing team, we speak to young people at risk of harm daily, you’d be surprised with some of the problems they feel they have to deal with alone. Trauma, exploitation, neglect can all manifest into negative behaviours including criminality and anti-social behaviour.

“These young people feel they have nothing to do and that positive opportunities are not for them."

A/Sergeant Smyth added: “All young people are vulnerable because of their age and stage of mental development. They are not mini-adults. Everyday there is the potential to positively engage a young person away from crime.

“Knowing that they have a free, safe, positive opportunity to try something new, to learn something and to feel that someone is supporting them can be life changing.”

A/DS Scoffham added: “This initiative was born out of speaking to young people involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. It was created based on their lived experiences, their perceived barriers that needed to be removed, and what activity would be beneficial for them to engage in.

“From this roll out, the support of the sports clubs across the county has been overwhelming and we cannot thank those involved enough. Seeing how the involvement and support from the clubs is improving young people’s lives is just brilliant.”

While some of the groups are already supported by PCC funding, no extra funding is provided from the force for this initiative – the sessions are offered by the groups for free.

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