Bradford’s innovative Police Summer Camp is continuing to make a difference to the quality of life for local people.
During August, when the event took place, anti social behaviour in the Bradford South Division reduced by 168 incidents compared to the same period the previous year, a drop of 19 percent.
Typically, such crime can peak during periods of extended school holidays.
Students from Bradford College Public Services Department, however; joined forces with the West Yorkshire Police and 18 partner agencies to design various diversionary events for 8 to 15 year olds to help alleviate boredom and provide positive ways to channel their energy.
The Police Summer Camp (PSC) gave over 240 children from Bradford the opportunity to participate in a series of sporting activities with Bradford City Football Club, Yorkshire Rams, Bradford Dragons and Bradford Bulls.
Other activities on offer included: Cooking with Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Olympic Boxing Skills with the Police Boxing Club, Basic Self Defence, ASB Workshop with West Yorkshire Police, Arson and Hoax Calls Workshop with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and much more.
Public Services students assisted the police to create and implement the week-long summer camp, helping to provide sporting and education workshops as an alternative to hanging out on the streets.
Course Tutor Nosheen Qamer said: "Trinity Green Campus was the location of this year’s camp - and an ideal venue to accommodate the range of facilities available. It has allowed us to open up the camp to the entire Bradford district as well as showcase the opportunities available to young people interested in continuing with education.”
Nosheen added: “Working with the police and partner agencies, our students gained real life work experience, developing employability skills at a time when youth unemployment is an issue. Students were given training on Health & Safety, Safeguarding and Disability Awareness before being assigned roles at the PSC.”
The scheme provided an opportunity for young people to meet their local Neighbourhood Policing Team officers and discuss issues, whilst also building positive relationship with young people in the area.
PCSO Chris Cahill said: “The Summer Camp is pro-active Neighbourhood Policing. We have been working with youngsters from Bradford, not only to improve the relationship between the community and police, but also to show these youngsters they do have positive role models, that can help them build on their goals and aspirations for the future. We want them to know we are here to support communities - and working together with our partners at Bradford College, we can make Bradford’s future bright.”
Nosheen Qamer reflecting on the success of the campaign said: “Working together, all partner agencies have been able to reach out to 240 youngsters in a unique setting. For example the road safety demonstration by West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue showed young people the impact of a road traffic accident and cutting casualties out of a vehicle. Hopefully the realities will deter joy riding/ dangerous driving in the future.”
Nosheen continued: “Young people have been given the chance to meet police staff from their neighbourhoods and have developed trusting relationships with them. We hope that this will allow them to come forward with any concerns they may have in the future.
“We want to work with our communities to prevent crime from happening in the first place, by showing young people the consequences of crime, as well as providing them with an alternative. This will help us to continue to break the cycle of ASB and low level crime from progressing on to more serious crimes.”