Middelsbrough FC defender George Friend with the Cleveland PCC and Police Sergeant Peter Graham
Cleveland’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger is calling on organisations to register to a new website and mobile application that has been designed to allow users to find information and pinpoint recreational activities within the Cleveland area at the touch of a button.
GiveItaGo uses mobile technology, known as jquery, to link into a ‘Desktop’ website and also converts to a mobile compatible version. An app is currently being developed to make the system even easier to use.
Thanks to funding from Middlesbrough-based landlord and developer Erimus Housing, Hartlepool and Stockton Community Safety Partnerships and the Commissioner, the GiveItAGO project has been created to offer both young and older people the chance to locate the already existing activities within the area. Activities that often go unnoticed by many.
This initiative was originally thought to be solely in the remit of keeping young people out of trouble, however as the project has developed it has quickly been realised that everyone of all walks of life enjoy activities of one form or another and could benefit from using the application.
As the Police stop more and more young people for causing antisocial behaviour, which is often caused out of boredom, it was decided by one officer to try and find a solution.
Sergeant Pete Graham decided to make some enquires into the root causes of the antisocial behaviour that he was seeing and being tasked to deal with and how he could reduce it. Pete found in excess of one hundred local activities from table tennis and archery to croquet. Activities that he himself was not aware of.
What was immediately apparent was that the advertising methods were out of tune with the way young people communicate. Pete was referring to a paper notice board that he located in a shop window. Shrouded by adverts for various groceries and Police flyers was a small, shabby advert for ‘Ballroom Dancing’.
People don’t want to scour through notice boards full of posters to try and find something they would like to do – they want to be able to find it at the touch of a button.
What initially seemed like a straight-forward concept soon became a mammoth task and talks with TeessideUniversity were undertaken to realise the potential by partnership working.
Project leader, Pete Graham said: “The Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger was approached and the project gained his support. Erimus Housing has kindly sponsored the project with a donation to help get the idea off the ground. The aim is to have both a website and a mobile phone app which could be promoted with the use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology which could bring activities into line with the advertising methods of today.
“Working together to keep the information as current as possible, people will have the choice of places to go and things to do…we may just find our next Olympian or number one singer if they just get given the chance.
“We now need local organisations to get in touch and let us know about their activity which can be advertised free of charge. We are looking for youth groups, sports groups etc to contact us and register their interest. We would be happy to hear from any local groups who coordinate activities for local residents - together we can make a difference for our local communities, young and old.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger gave his full backing adding: “I think this really is a great example of the central role which Neighbourhood Policing can play in working with local communities to really make a difference which is why I was so pleased to give my backing to Peter Graham’s initiative. I really hope that GiveItaGo takes off and would urge all organisations offering recreational activities to make sure they are included on the website.”
Chris Smith, Managing Director for Erimus Housing, added: “Tackling anti-social behaviour is a real priority for residents and while we know not all young people cause trouble for others, ensuring they have something to do is not only vital in keeping them off the streets, it is something many of them really appreciate.
“We are involved in a range of partnership schemes to ensure there are activities for young people and these new police initiatives give them all the information they need about where they can go and what they can do in one place in a way that’s really accessible to them. We hope it will be a great success and will prove to be really positive for both young people and local communities.”
Organisations can register on the site by going to www.cleveland.giveitago.net and clicking on the pink ‘Register your organisation’ button.
Watch the GiveItaGo introductory film below.
Posted on Tuesday 29th April 2014