Up to no good? Think again poster

A POSTER campaign has been launched today to try to tackle anti-social behaviour by challenging people's first impressions.

A POSTER campaign has been launched today to try to tackle anti-social behaviour by challenging people's first impressions.

The “What are you looking at?” poster is going up in venues across the Suffolk Coastal area and is the latest initiative in the Let's Get A Life! campaign.

It appears to show two men - one in a hooded top, the other in a police officer's uniform - but on closer examination it is the same person, Pc Dave Gledhill, just wearing different clothing.

Hooded tops are associated with young hooligans but now the poster aims to challenge perceptions and asks: “Before you judge, look a little closer” and says “Underneath we're all the same”.

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Detective Sergeant Daye Goddard, lead officer for the campaign, working with other partners including the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, said the aim was to engage with young people and encourage all sections of the community to interact in order to break down often stereotypical views of each other.

He said: “How often do you hear about older residents being intimidated by groups of young people wearing 'hoodies'? Often the young people aren't doing anything wrong, they are just standing there talking to their friends, but the impact of a group wearing this type of clothing can create a very real fear.

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“Young people need to realise that this can be intimidating and older people need to understand that not everyone wearing a hooded top and standing in the street is being anti-social.

“This new poster links to a DVD which has already been put to good effect at Leiston Middle School where they have worked closely with the Rose and Sweet William Club to bring older residents and young pupils together to foster understanding.

“A copy of the DVD is held by Safer Neighbourhood Teams and it can be shown to any groups on request. It also carries a clear message that it is wrong to stereotype people.

“To categorise young people - or indeed any other group - by virtue of what they are wearing and pre-judging based on appearance is wrong.”

The Get A Life! campaign is fronted by Mr Green, a larger than life skeleton character, who reinforces the message that, although on the outside we all look and sound very different, underneath everyone is the same.

What do you think of the campaign? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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