YOUNG South Tynesiders have been hailed after signing up to a pioneering project tackling crime and disorder in the borough.
Members of Boldon’s Positive Activities youth project have become the first in South Tyneside to take part in a 12-week course led by police and firefighters which highlight the consequences that anti-social behaviour can have on communities and on residents.
A total of 16 youngsters, aged from 14 to 24, took part in the three-month course at the project’s base in Boldon Village Hall, in North Road.
Cheryl Spamer, project co-ordintor, said: “The young people were really engaged throughout the whole of the course and really took on board what was being said.
“I think it also made some of them think how easy it is for behaviour which they think is OK to be perceived as anti-social by others.
“We know crime and anti-social behaviour is a major concern in the area, so it is really great we have a group who are really keen to turn that around and help to alleviate people’s concerns.”
The course was funded by a grant from the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund.
Alex Wilkinson, crime prevention advisor with Northumbria Police, said: “The course looked at all aspects of anti-social behaviour, the impact it has on victims, on the community and the consequences on the person committing it.
“It is the first course I have delivered in South Tyneside and the group were really good and engaged with the course throughout.”
Youngsters who completed the course said it had been worthwhile.
Katie Brunton, 18, from Boldon, said: “The course is definitely worth doing. The fire brigade showed us a video of a wheelie bin on fire outside a home and the massive consequences and repercussions it can have on others.
“The course is really informative and interactive, so helps to keep your interest. It also makes you think more about your own actions and how they can be perceived by others.”
Olivia Sugden, 14, from Biddick Hall, South Shields, said: “The course shows you how certain types of behaviour can have a negative impact on a community.
“It was a really good course and I would recommend more young people to do it.”