A new campaign has been launched across Wallasey to tackle criminal damage by young people in preparation for Halloween and Bonfire Night.
Last year the area covered by Wallasey Constituency Committee, which includes New Brighton, Leasowe, Moreton, Liscard, Saughall Massie, Poulton, Egremont, Seacombe and Wallasey, saw an increase in the number of reported incidents of criminal damage during the bonfire period. 17 more incidents were reported in 2013 than during the same period in 2012.
This was despite a comprehensive programme of multi-agency activity including preventative work in schools, visits to retailers, bonfire and flammable materials removal, diversionary activities for young people and community engagement.
Now Wallasey Constituency Committee is using Public Health Outcomes funding to support a new behaviour change campaign aimed at revealing the impact of criminal damage on communities. This is with the aim of reducing the number of young people who commit criminal damage and ultimately end up in the criminal justice system.
Special resource packs have been produced for work with young people, which include activities, presentations, scenarios and project work focused upon:
Types of vandalism and how it can negatively affect property owners, businesses and residents.
What leads young people to commit criminal damage.
The financial cost of criminal damage to individuals and communities.
Potential penalties that perpetrators should expect if they are caught.
The fear and anxiety that criminal damage can cause to communities and how it contributes to neighbourhood decline.
The new packs are designed to be used by those who work with young people, including Merseyside Policeís Community Support and Traffic Officers, Police Officers, Fire Officers and Youth Workers from Wirral Councilís Youth & Play Service. The packs have been developed from focus groups and one-to-one interviews with young people engaged with both the Youth Service and Youth Offending Service to identify key messages and approaches that will have the most impact.
Cllr Rob Gregson, Chair of Wallasey Constituency Committee said: ďAchieving behaviour change is one of those really knotty problems which can take a long time and a great deal of resource. Hopefully, by working through activities which go into the motivations and impacts of criminal damage we will achieve a reduction. Halloween and Bonfire Night are meant to be fun, but some of the anti-social activities can have a debilitating effect on communities.Ē
For further information, contact Caroline Laing by email at email@example.com or follow the Constituency Teamís Twitter account @wallaseyteam and campaign hashtag #itsnoyolk!
Source : Clic Me