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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 16:58 GMT
Console bid to cut youth disorder
Games controller
Teenagers have been taking up the police challenge
Police in Edinburgh have been running computer game contests with bored youngsters in a drive to cut disorder.

The move has led to a 50% reduction in calls to the police youth action line.

Teenagers from Moredun have gone head-to-head with officers from the Lothian and Borders force in a month of video game tournaments.

The competition was launched after a rise in the number of complaints from residents. The scheme could now be extended across the capital.

Locals had raised concerns about children being rowdy in and around the area's library.

It gives the kids something to do, relieves boredom, reassures the staff and creates a better relationship between everyone
Insp Stephen Paul

The Youth Action Team Challenge saw the "target youths" playing three sports games.

One of the main criteria for entry was good behaviour.

Bad behaviour or coming to the attention of the police over the period of the initiative resulted in a ban from the challenge.

Only one youth out of more than 20 boys and three girls was banned from the final due to his behaviour.

Insp Stephen Paul said: "At the moment we are looking at where to take it, the response has been relatively favourable.

"Now we are looking to extend it in Moredun and then perhaps to the rest of the south of Edinburgh through youth clubs and libraries.

"But it is not worth extending unless it makes a difference. It would need to meet criteria to be introduced.

"It gives the kids something to do, relieves boredom, reassures the staff and creates a better relationship between everyone."


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