Football fever is to hit South Tyneside as part of a crackdown on bad behaviour by youngsters during the school holidays.
Two five-a-side soccer tournaments have been organised as part of the Lighter Nights campaign.
This annual campaign is highly effective.Coun Tracey Dixon
The event is one of a number of activities taking place throughout the Easter break to keep young people occupied and out of mischief.
Since its launch the annual campaign has slashed anti-social behaviour, last year saw a 66% reduction and a drop in the number of grass fires.
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “We take part in this annual campaign because it is highly effective. Since last year we have seen a 66% reduction in anti-social behaviour and there has been a drastic drop in the number of grass fires – which is always a particular concern at this time of year.”
The first, on April 1 between 7pm and 9pm at Clegwell Community Centre, Hebburn and the second on Friday April 8 between 7pm and 9pm at Temple Park Leisure Centre, South Shields.
Temporary Superintendent Sarah Pitt said: “We’re coming up to the time when the clocks go forward and the evenings will start to get lighter, and hopefully warmer, and we know young people will be spending more time outdoors meeting up with their friends. Sometimes young people gathering in the street can be intimidating to other people, even if they are just talking it can cause residents particularly those who are elderly or more vulnerable to feel intimidated.”
Fire service district manager for South Tyneside Bill Forster, said: “April is actually our busiest month in terms of deliberately started fires – even more so than November, which includes the busy Bonfire period. This campaign is a real opportunity to reduce these types of fire.”
To enter a team for the football tournaments (11-12, 13-14 and 15-17 age groups) contact Chris Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 0191 424 7845.