Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

Berkshire police youth crime scheme praised

An initiative set up in a Berkshire town to combat anti-social behaviour has been praised by a government body.

Neighbourhood policing teams started Operation Lion Cub in Bracknell in June 2007 in response to public concerns, mainly about youth crime and vandalism.

Police figures showed reports of anti-social behaviour have since dropped 15% up until December 2009.

It has been highlighted by the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) as an example of good practice.

The operation, which takes place on Friday and Saturday night, is currently featured in the community safety section of GOSE's website.

Community confidence

A survey of residents also showed 68% felt the operation had helped to reduce the level of criminal activity in their neighbourhood.

Police teams conduct high-visibility patrols and offer residents contact numbers to the officer in charge to report incidents.

Insp Michael Squire, who set up Operation Lion Cub, said: "We're pleased that GOSE has recognised the work we have been doing to tackle anti-social behaviour.

"Lion Cub has not only reduced low-level crime and disorder, but also improved community confidence in the police.

"Whilst the operation is still working well, we are always keen to do better."

A similar initiative was launched by police Wokingham in October 2009 and there are plans to introduce the idea to other parts of the Thames Valley Police area.

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