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Youth café plan in bid to reduce crime

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

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A YOUTH café is being set up at Falmouth's Dracaena Centre as part of a project aimed at the under-16s.

It is hoped the sessions will improve confidence and reduce antisocial behaviour and youth crime.

The Friday night café for 11 to 16-year-olds will initially run for 40 weeks, with a session earlier in the evening for younger children.

Richard May, centre manager, said: "Our target group are those young people who are disadvantaged within our community."

There will be advisory sessions on drugs, sexual health and careers, and activities like street dance, art and sport, as well as the café.

Friday nights were chosen as this is when statistically the target group "are not positively engaged".

Mr May added: "One of the key focuses for the 'club' element is working to ensure residents see a reduction of antisocial behaviour and youth crime through the creation of alternative and fulfilling activities and further development of a united community with improved relations.

"We strive to support existing and develop new streams of intervention projects for our young people with the key aims to reduce crime, disorder and substance misuse."

There will be a chance for the young people to become peer mentors for younger members.

Sessions from 5pm to 6.30pm for primary-school age and 7pm until 9pm for older children, will be run by two youth workers.

Residents are being given the chance to get involved by volunteering to support the programme.

Applications have been made to various groups to cover the £9,750 cost and Falmouth Town Council has agreed to give £1,000.

Sergeant Jerry Mitchell, from the Community Safety Partnership, said the work already being done at the centre "has had a noticeable positive impact, particularly in relation to the relationships between the police and community.

"The support provided has undoubtedly reduced antisocial behaviour and the associated crime."

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