Kids Talk Anti-Social Behaviour

25 February 2010, 16:27 | Updated: 26 February 2010, 06:12

5,500 school children in Dorset are being tought how to stop themselves becoming a victim of anti-social behaviour.

Police officers are going into schools to find out what worries 11 year olds - and what they want to be done about it as part of the GRIP project.

GRIP (Gaining Respect in People) was launched in schools in Dorset in 2008 by the Safe Schools and Communities Team, a partnership between Dorset Police, the county's Youth Offending Team, Bournemouth Borough Council and Poole Borough Council. The programme was aimed at year seven pupils (11-12 year olds).

This year, 31 schools in Dorset County and 14 schools in Bournemouth and Poole will be visited by the programme. This equates to more than 5,500 year seven school pupils.

Each day starts with a 40-minute assembly with a presentation on the public's perception of anti-social behaviour.

Students then take part in three workshops covering the following:-

        *       Restorative Justice - role-play delivered by one of our Safe Schools and Communities Officers targeting a local community-based issue.

        *       PACT (Partners and Communities Together), Bournemouth 2026 and Safer Poole - delivered by the Safer Neighbourhood Team and designed to introduce young people to community engagement processes.

        *       Offensive weapons - aimed at raising awareness of the legislation and guidance around offensive weapons.

This year, the team will also be joined by anti-social behaviour reduction officers from various local authorities.

Safe Schools and Communities Team Leader, Yvonne Surman, said:

"Anti-social behaviour is continuously raised at both local and national level as being one of the largest areas of concern for communities in England and Wales.
"Dealing with this type of behaviour requires not only an enforcement approach but arguably and more importantly a preventative approach.

"We all know that young people are often portrayed as the biggest perpetrators of anti-social behaviour; however, evidence has shown that not only is this inaccurate but they are also more likely to be victims of such behaviour.

"With this in mind we see the role of schools as being of paramount importance in supporting us to provide education and advice to the young people in our community."