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Three youth engagement projects aiming to tackle anti-social behaviour, improve awareness of the consequences of knife crime and child exploitation, and build positive relationships with the police are being delivered in Alway, Newport.
Three youth engagement projects, delivered by Gwent Police and Newport Youth Justice Service, recommenced during half term last week.
The initiatives, which are being part-funded by money Gwent Police and partners secured from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund, aim to build positive relationships between police and young people, develop life skills and improve awareness of the impact of violence and knife crime on victims and the wider community.
Chief Inspector Hannah Lawton, who's leading Gwent’s Safer Streets work, said:
“Gwent Police is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour, violence and knife crime, and continues to engage with communities across Gwent to protect vulnerable people and raise awareness of the impact anti-social behaviour and violent crime has within communities.”
Earlier this month, The Knife Angel, a giant sculpture made from more than 100,000 knives, was installed in Friars Walk, Newport, to remind people about the devastating impact of violence and aggression and encourage conversation around the impact of knife crime.
CI Lawton added:
“It’s important that engagement and education around these topics starts young, so the additional funding we’ve received from the Safer Streets project can be used to support the three projects in Alway and help us tackle ASB, engage with those at risk of offending and prevent violent crime.
“Delivered by our NXT GEN team and Youth Justice Service partners, The Blade Project’s workshops highlight the risks of knife crime, teach young people about the impact of knife crime, how to provide first aid, and allow those completing the course to achieve educational qualifications.
“The REALL Girls initiative, meanwhile, is an all-inclusive group for young girls living in Alway, with the aim of deterring their involvement in anti-social behaviour, protecting them from exploitation and raising awareness around the warning signs of abuse.
“The Soul Trail project, the third supported by Safer Streets funding, delivers workshops for young people and focuses on building confidence and community spirit and introducing tools that can help improve personal wellbeing.
“The workshops include nature-based engagement sessions that aim to build a connection between young people, their environment and community, and educate participants about what things, like nutrition, can have a positive effect on health and overall lifestyle.”
Councillor James Clarke, cabinet member for strategic planning, regulation, and housing at Newport City Council said:
“Through our Safer Newport partnership, the council, police and other partners work together to improve community safety, and I’m pleased that we have been able to collaborate again on another round of Safer Streets funding, following previous interventions in the city centre and Pillgwenlly.
“Engaging with young people is vital if we are to tackle anti-social behaviour. These initiatives are great examples of positive projects that can make a real difference to young people, and I’m pleased that we have been able to support them with their important work, and hopefully leave a lasting positive impact in the local community.”
Part of the £746,702 Gwent Police secured during the latest Safer Streets round, which is being used to help prevent anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crimes like burglary, robbery and theft across six areas in Gwent (Alway in Newport, Blackwood, Brynmawr, Caldicot, Cwmbran and Tredegar) will also be used on youth engagement projects in Cwmbran, Brynmawr and Tredegar.
For more on Gwent Police's Safer Streets work, visit https://www.gwent.police.uk/police-forces/gwent-police/areas/campaigns/campaigns/2021/safer-streets/.