AROUND one thousand secondary school students in Hartlepool have benefitted from a special event aimed at deterring anti-social behaviour.
Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Day (ASBAD) took place recently over five days at the town’s Borough Hall on the Headland.
A multi-agency event organised under the auspices of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, ASBAD targets all Year 8 (13/14 year-olds) students.
The event – in its thirteenth year - aims to educate young people through a series of interactive workshops about how unruly behaviour can affect other people’s lives.
Issues covered by the workshops include, internet safety, healthy relationships, hate crime, alcohol and drug substance misuse, hoax emergency telephone calls, litter and the impact on others of large gatherings of young people.
Barry Coppinger, Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner who attended the event, said: “I think this is an excellent event as it brings together all of the agencies who are committed to community safety in Hartlepool. Most importantly of all, the event provides an opportunity to engage with young people and hopefully deter them from anti-social behaviour. Anti-social behaviour is an extremely high priority for me. We do get a significant number of complaints and sometimes people view groups of young people as a threat but quite often they are just gathering together to be with each other and be safe and secure themselves.
“The vast majority of young people are well behaved and we need to do all we can to support and develop them as our citizens of the future.”
Jack Palmer (13), a student at English Martyrs School & 6th Form College who lives in the Grange Road area, commented: “I’m hoping to learn about the different things that can go wrong as result of anti-social behaviour.
“It’s a good idea to have events like this focussing on Year 8 students because this is an age when anti-social behaviour often starts. Some people think it is cool to be anti-social and this event will help to stop that.”
Tegan Thompson (12), who lives in the Stockton Road area and also attends English Martyrs, added: “I’m hoping to gain more knowledge about anti-social behaviour including how it can affect your life.
“Some people think it is clever to do things which are bad but they don’t realise the hurt they are causing for others.”
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the chair of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, said: “The Safer Hartlepool Partnership is dedicated to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in Hartlepool and making it a safer place.
“ASBAD has been running now for twelve years and it has proved to be an excellent way to connect with the young people of our town and emphasise the role that they can play in combating anti-social behaviour.
“The interactive workshops enable the young people to express themselves and the event is also a great opportunity to showcase the very good work which goes on in the town by the various agencies working together to address anti-social behaviour.”
Posted on Monday 29th February 2016