A POLICE-led scheme to get young people hooked on the joys of sea angling is underway in County Durham.

The Somet Fishy initiative was launched with the help of the Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC) to educate and develop young people, especially those whose background makes them potentially liable to get involved in petty crime or anti-social behaviour.

Participants go on a ten-week programme which includes hands-on fishing instructions and classroom-based lectures on issues such as anti-social behaviour, dishonesty and criminal damage.

Those who take part in the sessions are then shown the basic skills of sea angling by licensed sea angling coach PC Kevin Woodcock before going on fishing trips to North East coastal venues.

PC Woodcock said: “The goal is to give those taking part a sense of community engagement, new social skills and an opportunity to develop their confidence.

“We started out with ten boys aged 12 to 16 and several weeks into the programme all those taking part are really enjoying it.”

The scheme is supported by a number of agencies apart from DAAC including Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, the Angling Trust, Tommers Tackle in Ferryhill, TronixPro fishing tackle and Tresspass clothing.

Assistance has also come from Dalton Park retail centre.