DOWN Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) in conjunction with local PSNI Neighbourhood Policing Teams have rolled out another successful Crossroads Programme for young people living in the Downpatrick and Newcastle areas.
The project which was rolled out over five days provided young people with the opportunity to view the work of PSNI officers and have the chance to participate in real life police role plays. Throughout the week, young people were encouraged to look at the impact of anti-social behaviour on the community, the police service and themselves whilst exploring essential life skills such as teamwork, personal responsibility and self-reflection.
As part of the programme young people were taken to PSNI facilities in Garnerville and Steeple were they got to speak to the tactical support team, view the police dogs in action and participate in police physical assessment training. Pupils also participated with representatives from ASCERT in interactive exercises which illustrated the effect alcohol can have on teenagers.
PCSP Chairman Councillor Willie Clarke said: “This programme shows young people the situations PSNI officers are faced with every day and hopefully we will see a reduction in anti-social behaviour as a result. The programme aims to create a greater sense of responsibility among young people and create citizenship. He hoped the young people had a positive experience gaining a real sense of achievement.”
Neighbourhood Policing Sergeants, John McKenna and Jim McIlveen commented they were delighted with the enthusiasm of the young people during the week and hopefully the opportunity to gain work experience with a uniformed, disciplined organisation would help boost self-esteem and have a positive influence on the young people taking part.
On the final day of the programme the young people were taken to Clear Sky Adventure Centre in Castleward to engage in a fun packed activity day.