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Bradford Police hope camp will keep kids out of trouble
PCSO Simon Hartley and PCSO Chris Cahill
PCSO Simon Hartley and PCSO Chris Cahill are part of the project in Bradford

A new summer camp aimed at stopping anti-social behaviour in Bradford is underway.

The Police Summer Camp, which began this week, will offer places for up to 150 young people between 10 and 15.

A week of planned activities and events will take place at the Bradford Academy.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have been working with the Public Service Department on the project.

PCSO Chris Cahill says it is important young people are given something to do over the holiday period.

He says: "The summer holidays are notoriously a period when we see low level crime such as anti-social behaviour rise as young people especially find themselves with nothing to do.

"This camp is therefore primarily about opening up opportunities for diversion. There are many activities already available to young people over the summer holidays, however, often they do not realise they are there. We will be able to give them something to do and a place to go.

"Students at Bradford College who are working towards their foundation degrees have also been helping the police to create and implement the week-long summer camp to provide them with sporting and education workshops as an alternative to hanging out on the streets."

It is only by building a positive relationship with young people in the area that we are able to make a difference to them and also the wider community.
PCSO Simon Hartley, West Yorkshire Police

Bradford College student Waleed Arja welcomes the idea and says it's a great opportunity. He explains: "It's been great working with the police on this project.

"Its been a one-off opportunity for us to get an insight into how Neighbourhood Policing Teams work from day to day."

PCSO Simon Hartley, who is also involved with the project, says it has great potential benefits.

He adds:"After attending local forums we recognised that local youths were crying out for something to do over the school holidays and we feel that the Police Summer Camp is a great solution.

"Some of the activities on offer include sports, martial arts, indoor and outdoor team building activities, assault courses and also a video arcade.

"There will also be an educational side to the week with a presentation called 'One Bullet One Life' from a West Yorkshire Police Firearms officer.

"Not only will this be a fun week for all those who come along, it will also be an opportunity for young people to meet their local Neighbourhood Policing Team officers and discuss any issues they may have.

"It is only by building a positive relationship with young people in the area that we are able to make a difference to them and also the wider community.

"We know from the pilot scheme last year that this can make a significant difference. Previously we received positive feedback from both the youngsters and their parents and we hope to have same impact again."

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