Tyne & Wear

Crime reduces in Ashington after youth work

The appointment of trainee youth workers at a Northumberland town's YMCA has helped reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour, police claim.

Northumberland YMCA appointed the five trainees in Ashington last September.

Since then, the area has seen an 11% reduction in the number of incidents relating to youth disorder, police say.

The appointments at Northumberland YMCA were funded by two government funded initiatives, Future Jobs Fund and Positive Futures.

Figures suggest that in five months, more than 200 young people have visited the centre in North View, which attracts between 40 and 50 teenagers a night.

Northumbria police said between September 2008 and 2009, there were 793 incidents relating to youth disorder in the Hirst and surrounding areas of Ashington.

'Good relationships'

However, since the YMCA expanded its service last September, that figure had fallen by 11%.

Inspector Jackie Coleman, Ashington Neighbourhood Inspector for Northumbria Police, said: "The activities that the YMCA has provided have had a positive effect on levels of anti-social behaviour across the sector.

"The Ashington Neighbourhood Policing team has also been able to engage with teenagers who use the YMCA and has established good relationships."

The FJF programme is targeted at helping young people, unemployed for longer than six months, into temporary work, primarily in the voluntary, community and public sectors.

It is delivered by the Tyne and Wear City Region Employment and Skills Partnership, which includes Northumberland County Council.

The programme is targeted at helping young people, unemployed for longer than six months, into temporary work, primarily in the voluntary, community and public sectors and aims to provide 3,450 temporary jobs between October 2009 and March this year.

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