‘Sweeping’ up anti-social behaviour in Moulsecoomb
The ‘Moulsecoomb ASB Sweep’ seeks to put trained and experienced youth workers on the streets at key times when youth anti-social behaviour is a problem (mainly during the lighter, warmer summer months). The idea is that these youth workers already have existing relationships with many local young people and so are well-placed to educate them about the impact their behaviour may have on the local community and to help prevent it.
Operating in and around the 67 Centre in Moulscoomb, the team at the Trust for Developing Communities (TDC) – the charity behind the scheme – hope that through this work and liaison with the community and the police they can help reduce crime and improve community cohesion.
Adam Muirhead is a Youth Team Co-ordinator for TDC. He recently accepted a grant award worth over £4,000 from the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner’s ‘Safer in Sussex’ Community Safety Fund.
Commenting, he said: “With funding for community centres and similar facilities so sporadic, this grant will really help sustain our relationship building with local youths and their families. It will enable us to provide targeted, street-based youth work sessions focussing on the education of young people about the effects of anti-social behaviour and crime in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean. It is our hope that through this work and close liaison with the community and the police we can reduce crime and the fear of crime within the community.”
“The age range of people engaging with the centre starts at 10 years and we have seen a lot of young people grow and mature. Everyone we meet here on the streets has their own story and many of them take a number of twists and turns along the way, but we have been there to help them wherever they are on their personal journey,” Adam added.
Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne joined Adam for a walk around the estate and youth centre earlier this week to see how the grant award was being spent.
Commenting, she said: “While I was at the centre I met two of the young people who use the facilities, Jay and Martin. They liked the relaxed and safe space it provided to meet their friends and socialise and they also appreciated the support and advice staff there can give them.
“The diversionary activities TDC offer aim to steer young people away from crime, for example, running sessions on bike mechanics for those who may have previously been involved in carrying out criminal damage or theft.
Most importantly, if a young person does find themselves on the wrong side of the law, the team will help keep the lines of communication open with them so that there is a welcoming and understanding place to come back to. This is an important part of helping to reform their behaviour and preventing them from reoffending.”