Youth activities credited for improving anti-social behaviour figures

12:39pm Friday 20th June 2014

A DROP in anti-social behaviour on housing association estates has been credited to activities designed to divert young people away from causing a nuisance on the streets.

Broadacres Housing Association has said there has been a 46 per cent decrease in anti-social behaviour around its homes – falling from 193 incidents in 2012/13 to 104 in 2013/14.

Reports relating to youth nuisance have fallen for the third year in a row, with just four reports in the whole of last year. This represents an overall 64 per cent reduction in three years.

This is largely being attributed to the successful diversionary schemes in operation in areas such as Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk.

These include boxing clubs set up in Northallerton and Great Ayton to encourage young people to get involved in sport, a youth drop-in centre in Stokesley, known as the Fire Place, and a junior youth club in Northallerton called the Fun Factory.

Overall, there was a reduction in the number of reports of anti-social behaviour in all of the areas where Broadacres has its 5,600 properties.

In Northallerton they fell from 94 to 40; in Stokesley they dropped from 8 to 7; in Thirsk they decreased from 34 to 20; and in all other areas they went down from 22 to 16.

Noise nuisance continues to be the biggest cause of anti-social behaviour, although this dropped from 105 cases to 46 last year.

Lee Godfrey, Broadacres tenancy relations co-ordinator, said: “By working together with the police and various other partners we are providing a visible presence in areas where anti-social behaviour can be an issue and by being proactive we aim to prevent rather than reacting after incidents have occurred.

“Continuing to champion a range of youth diversionary activities has been a significant contributing factor to reduced levels of youth related anti-social behaviour.”

One successful scheme is the Fire Place in Stokesley, which regularly attracts about 25 young people every week.

Among the regular activities include animation workshops, music, photography and arts and crafts.

Emily Thomas, Broadacres’ community involvement manager, said “These activities give the children something fun and meaningful to do and they receive positive attention, which is so important.

“We are aiming to bring real focus to their lives, with a view to assisting them in later life when they are choosing their career paths and general future direction.”

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