Anti-social behaviour is tackled

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Football events have proved a winner in tackling anti-social behaviour in Bedlington.

Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team have been working with Northumberland County Council, Bernicia Housing and ‘Sports Zone’ to organise cage football events for youngsters.

The sessions, in July and August, were held on Friday evenings with more than 350 young people taking part.

And during the six weeks period the events took place, the Bedlington Station area saw only one recorded anti-social behaviour incident being reported on a Friday evening.

Dave Johnston, community support officer for Bedlington Station, said: “The aim of this project was to offer something for the local young people to do during the summer months, in an attempt to deter them from committing anti-social behaviour.

“The events worked really well and it was great to see local kids coming together and enjoying themselves.

“They have all been rewarded with football strips and medals to show our appreciation for their good behaviour and attendance.”

Keith Scantlebury, chairman of Burnside Estate Residents’ Group, said: “The events have been a great success in bringing the local community together.

“Tackling anti-social behaviour is a key objective for the Burnside Estate Residents’ Group and we hope to build on this for the future.”

Abbie Dodds, one of the children who attended the events, said: “This has been amazing and it’s given me and my friends somewhere to come on a Friday night to socialise and play football.

“It’s much better than hanging around the streets.”