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Commissioner heartened by students' ideas for reducing anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related problems

Two Derbyshire schools have each received a grant of £1,000 from Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles to carry out ‘”exciting” projects specially designed to benefit their local communities.

Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School and Lady Manners School in Bakewell were the winners of a competition launched by Mr Charles at the beginning of the year.

The Commissioner commented: “Their ideas are spot-on and a credit to their understanding of how difficult behaviour can be diverted into something positive.

“It is so heartening when youngsters are prepared to work on their exciting ideas for keeping our communities safe from harm. I applaud them for coming up with two very ‘do-able’ and affordable projects.”

Six competition entries were received and assessed by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa. He was particularly looking for projects that would address a problem in the community, the likely benefit to the community and the likely contribution to the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan objectives aimed at reducing crime and keeping communities safe.

Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School students won their grant for a plan to create a graffiti wall at the school where fellow pupils – and those from other local schools – will be encouraged to demonstrate their artistic talents. The aim is to reduce graffiti and anti-social behaviour by providing a positive environment for artistic designs and create a local feature which can be viewed by the whole community.

The students aim to change the display at different times of year to reflect seasonal themes. When planning their project, they had carried out research with a police officer regarding the extent and impact of local problems with graffiti.

At Lady Manners School, the project involves running a ‘Teen Dry Bar.’ The plan is to make their local pop-up bar available for fellow pupils during the summer, encouraging an enjoyable night out without alcohol.

Their aim is to provide information about the dangers of alcohol at the events, together with DJ entertainment, ice cream and hot dogs, and the opportunity to make non-alcoholic ‘Mocktails’. In this way, they hope to address the problem of local teenagers having few available venues after 6pm – a situation that can lead to binge drinking in friends’ houses or local parks and on to anti-social behaviour, unprotected sex and drug taking.

The students have also done their sums, calculating that a small profit made at the events would enable more to be hosted.

Mr Charles launched the competition as part of his youth engagement programme. It was open to all Derbyshire secondary and special schools, and was in keeping with his obligation to obtain the views and co-operation of people in his area with regard to crime and anti-social behaviour. He has pledged to engage positively with young people under the Youth Charter, and he has the power to award grants to support the reduction of crime and disorder.

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Posted on Tuesday 1st July 2014
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