Young people at the Ridge Adventure Centre.
Young people are being given a positive outlet for their energy with the reopening of a youth centre.
A share of £250,000 of Safer Streets funding helped to get the Ridge Adventure Centre, in Ridgeway, Top Valley, back in action in February.
The cash is also providing three evening sessions a week for young people to attend activities including boxing, football, table tennis and pool.
It is hoped the centre will have a lasting impact by reducing antisocial behaviour in the area.
It is just one of the many partnership projects designed to make public spaces in Nottinghamshire safer, using cash secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire through the Home Office’s Safer Streets programme. The projects are being delivered in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and local authorities including Nottingham City Council.
In total, £5.5m has been brought to Nottinghamshire over four rounds of funding, with a further £1.4m to come after an announcement by the Home Office last week. Overall, this is biggest amount secured by any PCC across England and Wales.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “It is fantastic to hear how this youth centre helping to transform the area and give young people more positive activities to engage in.
“It is a great example of how Safer Streets is being used to prevent antisocial behaviour and the harm this causes to communities. It also shows how we are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with local residents to act on their concerns and improve their quality of life.
“What's really important about Safer Streets is that it brings partners together to come up with solutions to issues that we all have a vested interest in tackling and by coming together we can do this far more efficiently and effectively.”
Inspector Paul Ferguson, neighbourhood policing inspector for Nottingham North, said: “Antisocial behaviour is one of the priorities for my team and we are always looking at new ways to find solutions to the problem by working with our partners.
“Youths gathering in public spaces can often be seen as intimidating, whereas in actual fact, very often this is a social gathering.
“We regularly engage with groups and one consistent request was for a safe space to get together and for activities to be available.
“When the Safer Streets bid was successful, police together with partners including Nottingham City Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and local youth workers agreed it was incredibly important to direct some of the funds to the centre.
“This was to provide youth outreach, but also centre-based activities for young people in a safe space where they could engage in positive activities.
“In February 2023, I am pleased to say that after a huge amount of effort by everyone involved, the centre was able to reopen and allowed for youth workers from Communities Unite and Helping Kids Achieve to run sessions for local young people.
“This proved so popular that there are regularly 40 to 50 people attending each session. It gives children and young adults a safe environment to get together, socialise and build relations with workers and partners in the area.
“The ongoing work is helping police build relations with the young people and on Wednesday 21 June 2023, neighbourhood police officers, Operation Reacher officers and the fire service, along with other partners attended a community day at the centre.
“This was a fantastic event which was attended by more than 100 young people and allowed for really positive engagement where officers got involved with football, archery and other challenges. This can only help with our ongoing efforts to engage with the community including young people in the Top Valley area.”
In addition to the support for youth services in the area, the Safer Streets fund has also enabled almost 200 homes in the area to be provided with enhanced security including CCTV cameras, Ring video doorbells and improved lighting to help further reduce antisocial behaviour and make residents feel safer.
The measures have proved popular with local people and officers have already received positive feedback.
One Top Valley couple said in a letter to Insp Ferguson: “We now feel much safer as we can see if anyone is on our property or comes to our door. In general the whole area has become safer with a noticeable reduction of antisocial behaviour.
Another resident, who has lived in Top Valley for more than 20 years, described how the installation of lighting and CCTV at his home had improved his way of life so much that it has persuaded him to stay in the area.
Insp Ferguson added: “It is always great to receive feedback like this, but we are not complacent and that is why our ongoing engagement and support for youth work in the community is so important.”
To report antisocial behaviour, call 101 or use the Live Chat option on our website. If you don’t report it the problems may continue - so don’t rely on someone else to report it for you.
Posted on Monday 10th July 2023