Scheme launched with Crawley kids to tackle anti-social behaviour
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Sussex Police and the Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation have come together to launch a new initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour in Crawley.
The scheme, named Targeted Kicks, offers children the opportunity to engage with others by playing football to improve their behaviour and lifestyle.
Sussex Police refer children aged 8-12 to take part in football sessions alongside our PCSOs and mentors to improve their footballing ability.
The aim of the scheme is to ensure children do not fall into anti-social habits and allow referred children to socialise, meet new people and have fun. The sessions can lead to a pathway into education, training and employment.
Targeted Kicks is an extension to the wider Premier League Kicks programme, a free football programme which is delivered by 89 football organisations in some of England and Wales' most deprived neighbourhoods.
The new collaborative initiative is being jointly funded by the Premier League Charitable Fund and the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.
Detective Chief Inspector, Simon Yates, said: “This project is hugely important to us. Playing football is a brilliant way to not only bring vulnerable young people together but is vital in making sure we can get messages across which shape their future.
“The force aims to work with partners to help as many young people as we can across West Sussex.
“We hope to expand the sessions across the county and are looking to launch a similar initiative in Worthing soon.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne added: “Any programme that helps hard to reach, vulnerable young people engage with police in a positive and meaningful way gets my support.
“I’m delighted to help fund this scheme because it focuses on both preventative and educational measures, including providing opportunities for vulnerable children to develop trusted connections whilst learning new skills in a fun environment. It will definitely help them to make positive decisions for their future.
“Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation are a valued partner for my office and Sussex Police, and I’m pleased to be able to financially support this targeted programme.
Lynsey Hermann, Head of Community Programmes at BHAFC Foundation, said: "Bringing young people together to play football in a supported setting is at the core of what we do. By working alongside the police we can also support them to make good choices and inspire them to think differently about their future.
"We launched Targeted Kicks in partnership with Sussex Police after identifying a need in the local area for additional activities to engage young people. Playing football is an excellent way to do this and is just one example of the life-changing work we deliver throughout Sussex."
Targeted Kicks is one of many community-led initiatives in Crawley.