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Help at hand for bored teenagers

PUBLISHED: 20:01 24 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:58 03 March 2010

WHILE these youths may feel they are being let down, many agencies across the county are working hard to help.

There is a real effort from the police to became part of the community and not just appear when there is trouble.

WHILE these youths may feel they are being let down, many agencies across the county are working hard to help.

There is a real effort from the police to became part of the community and not just appear when there is trouble.

Pc Martin Sheeran has been spending a day a week in Holywells High School with the aim of getting children used to his presence and to show that it does not have to be threatening. The response to this has been very positive from everyone involved.

There is also an it's a knock out competition organised by the police for charity. It will be held this summer and is a chance for the youths and police to mix on a different level.

The youth offending agency, which is made up of many organisations throughout Suffolk works closely with teenagers like this. The police, education, social services and other agencies are seconded to the team to work with these youths.

Allister Hart is a locality manager for the agency, he said: "We primarily deal with those convicted in the courts and we have a range of programmes in place. One of the main thrusts of our work is the youths paying back the community.

"We have also secured funding from the government for an intensive supervision and surveillance programme which is aimed at persistent offenders.

"This will be trying to prevent them from re-offending. We also work closely with Ipswich Borough Council and the police and we are trying to develop projects in drama and music for the youths.

"Our alcohol and drug workers also spend a great deal of time addressing these problems.

"There is often a limit to what we can do but we are permanently in consultation with the different agencies.

"I have seen Asbos work and they have their place. We aim to utilise the orders the courts put in place and over the years I have seen the orders come to fruition."

The South East Suffolk Partnership is also up and running. This is another multi agency approach which brings together people from many organisations to meet regularly. This runs parallel to a forum which residents can get involved with.

The Queens Way Community Action Group has also been set up and is looking at ways to include the youths in the community.

Elke Alderson has been involved from the beginning with the group.

"There is so much positive work going on around here. The sooner we can get them something to do the better – but things do not happen over night.

"These youths are aware of what is going on but they need to help themselves as well.

"We are starting to regenerate the recreation ground and we are even in the midst of setting up a cyber café.

"The agencies are willing to help us but it all takes time. It will not happen this month or next, but it will happen," she said.


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