A pilot youth programme is to be launched in Rushmoor this summer in a bid to engage with young people and drive down anti-social behaviour (ASB).
PCC Donna Jones is funding six months of detached youth provision following an increasing level of violence and weapon enabled offences in the Farnborough and Aldershot areas.
The £5K funding, from the Commissioner’s ASB Taskforce fund, will allow two youth workers to be trained and then deployed to hotspot areas to engage with young people who are presenting a danger to themselves and to others.
The youth workers, who will be out for three hours in the evening twice a week, will then provide feedback to the local authority and the police on emerging trends and concerns, as well as onward referrals. It’s anticipated the initiative will start in late July or early August.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said: “Anti-social behaviour blights our communities and residents and businesses across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have consistently told me ASB makes them feel unsafe.
“I’m really pleased to be supporting Rushmoor so they can engage, educate and encourage young people to receive the right advice and support that they need.
“Tackling anti-social behaviour is one of the top priorities in my Police and Crime Plan so I’m working to not only address ASB with immediate action, such as this funding for Rushmoor, but to also work with all partners including councils, landowners, schools and parents to focus on the long-term systemic ASB issues.”
It’s hoped the pilot can be used as a springboard to gather information and inform Rushmoor Borough Council on the exact needs for wider youth provision work.
Portfolio Holder for Place Protection at Rushmoor Borough Council, Councillor Maurice Sheehan, said: “Aldershot and Farnborough have long been lacking in any detached youth work provision so we are delighted with the grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“This funding will allow us to engage young people in the borough and provide advice and support if required, as well as signposting to other services.”
Inspector Kirsten Troman, from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, added: “The deployment of outreach young people workers in Rushmoor is an exciting opportunity and I’m pleased to hear that funding has been agreed for this.
“There are portions of our young people susceptible to exploitation and involvement in crime if they don’t have appropriate role models and positive activities to engage in, and this outreach funding will help to ensure that more young people get the support they need to keep them safe and with good futures.”
The news comes ahead of ASB Awareness Week which is a national week of action from 3 to 9 July 2023.