Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Sunday, 19 October 2008 11:40 UK

Hobby to hook youths from crime

Fly fishing rod
Angling offers the youngsters 'new skills and experiences'

Anglers are hoping to get young people in County Durham hooked on a new hobby in a scheme to cut down on youth crime.

As part of the 30,000 initiative, youngsters will enrol on a programme of fishing activities.

It is hoped this will increase their personal and social skills, and help steer them away from crime.

National charity Get Hooked on Fishing (GHOF) joined forces with Easington Council to set up the project, which is funded by the Environment Agency.

Participants will take part in 12 initial sessions, which will include sea angling at Blackhall and Seaham, and a visit to the charity's fishing lake in Bishop Auckland.

Darren McGlen, GHOF project manager, said: "Our aim is to raise awareness among young people that there are viable alternatives to crime and anti-social behaviour, while also promoting conservation and environmental issues."

Councillor George Patterson, chairman of the Pride in Easington steering group, said: "As well as gaining new skills and experiences, those who take part will also have the chance to make the most of our district's stunning coastline."




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