Posted on: Friday 12 May 2023
A new youth outreach scheme is helping to tackle antisocial behaviour in Cwmbran.
Youth workers from Cwmbran Centre for Young People (CCYP) are targeting problem areas to engage with young people and encourage them to attend CCYP instead of hanging around shopping centres and other public areas.
They are offered free food and an opportunity to socialise with their friends in a safe environment.
The centre now receives more than 700 visits from young people each month, with local businesses and the police reporting improvements in antisocial behaviour incidents.
The work is being paid for through the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund and is a partnership between the Cwmbran Centre for Young People, Gwent Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and Torfaen County Borough Council.
Kieran Saunders, youth support worker at the Cwmbran Centre for Young People, said: “Most young people don’t set out to cause problems, they just want somewhere to hang out with their friends.
“We travel to areas where there are problems, speak with the young people and encourage them to come along to the centre. When they are there, we can look out for them, make sure they are ok and offer them support if they need it.
“We have had a fantastic response, both from the young people, residents and local businesses, and it is making a real difference in the community.”
Young people have been responding well to the scheme.
Natasha said: “I like coming to CCYP because it’s fun and the staff are amazing. I like coming here because it keeps me out of trouble. Now I come here every night as it gets me off the streets.”
Ash said: “I like coming to CCYP because it’s a safe place to come to with my friends. The staff are supportive and are always keen to help. If I couldn’t come to CCYP I would probably be messing around with my friends in the streets or locked away in my room with nothing to do.”
Torfaen County Borough Council leads on the scheme.
Councillor Peter Jones, Executive Member for Corporate Governance and Performance at Torfaen Council said: “By partnering with youth workers who are well known and trusted by young people we are reaching out to those groups who are responsible for antisocial behaviour and offering them something more positive to do with their time.
“We are helping to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour here and now, but also to safeguard these young people, keep them out of trouble and hopefully set them on a better path for the future.”
The Safer Streets Fund is awarded to Police and Crime Commissioner’s to support partnership work between the police, local authorities and other partners for projects that keep communities safe.
Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “This is an excellent example of policing, the local authority and charity sector working in together in partnership to tackle anti-social behaviour, keep people safe, and create better opportunities for young people.”