A project part-funded by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, aimed at reducing youth crime through sport is under way in South Tyneside.
Young women’s charity Bright Futures joined forces with sports charity StreetGames to launch the Doorstep Sport Programme, which aims to raise the self-esteem and confidence of young people through a range of sports-based activities.
More than 45 young people, aged between 11 and 22, took part in a range of activities from street dance to football to mark the occasion.
This community sports intervention programme has been designed to offer support to young people at risk of involvement in criminal and antisocial behaviour.
Commissioner Baird is one of seven PCCs working in partnership as part of a successful Youth Crime Reduction and Sport bid that was made to the Home Office Police Innovation Fund. It aims to consolidate the partnership between policing and community sport to create a robust evidence base that will bring direct savings and efficiencies to policing.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “This project is about empowering girls; building their confidence and self-esteem and helping them resist the demands of controlling influences such as peer pressure.
“There have been other sports intervention projects in the past which have been hugely successful in reducing youth crime and I hope this programme will follow in their footsteps.
“Bright Futures were the obvious choice to be our delivery partner and they have been working very closely with Northumbria Police neighbourhood teams to identify areas where anti-social behaviour is a concern. I wish them every success with the project.”
Nicola Whalen, Bright Futures project manager, said: “The aim of the launch event was to make as many young women and girls aware of the project, introduce them to StreetGames, and use the opportunity to find out what sports and activities they wish to take part in, in the future.
So far, feedback has been great and we look forward to working with young people to develop the programme further in the coming months. There will also be opportunities for young people to undertake accredited courses including SportsLeadership Awards – something positive to work towards.”