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Engaging youth outreach programme on the Isle of Wight helps drive down anti-social behaviour

30 June 2023

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, says she’s delighted that a collaborative trial designed to engage with young people in Ryde has seen a 27% reduction in anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The outreach sessions, funded by the PCC’s ASB Taskforce fund, involved a combination of youth workers, police officers and PCSOs out in the community constructively engaging with young people on Friday evenings from January to March this year.

The initiative, which was a collaborative approach between the police, Network Ryde and the Town Council, was set up over concerns that residents were increasingly worried about feeling safe due to a rise in ASB incidents.

The trial’s results reveal a reduction in ASB in the Ryde area of more than a quarter compared to the same period last year, and an engagement of a total of 160 people with the majority aged 14-18 years old.

Speaking during a visit to Network Ryde on Friday 30 June 2023, PCC Donna Jones said: “I am continually hearing from residents and businesses across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that they want action to tackle ASB so I’m delighted that this youth outreach programme has had such great results here on the island.

“By building effective and constructive relationships with young people, this trial shows we can all work together to bring about positive change, and to re-establish a sense of community.

“This initiative also emphasises the importance of early intervention, and making sure that young people’s needs are identified so they can access the information and support services they need rather than get involved in criminal behaviour.”

Sergeant Matt James, from the Ryde and North East Wight Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This programme was created in response to a community identified issue in the town raised by local shops and businesses.

“We are all really pleased that this outreach programme has managed to positively engage with a number of young persons living in the Ryde area who were not engaged with youth provision.”

Bex Swan, the Youth Work Manager at Network Ryde, said: “The Outreach project was a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with our police colleagues and engage with young people in our local community.

“We were also able to raise awareness of our youth provision here at Network Ryde to both young people and adults.”