Football is the key to kicking anti-social behaviour out of town, say youth workers and police
Members of The Youth Association will host weekly kickabouts on a synthetic pitch at Ossett Academy to keep young people from hanging around and drinking on the streets of the town centre.
TYA workers Dan Hall and Khalil Khan have volunteered to get the ball rolling after spending the last four Friday and saturday evenings patrolling with officers and speaking to groups of teenagers.
Members of the northwest neighbourhood police team said they would also help to supervise the youngsters during the free Friday night tournaments.
Mr Hall said similar schemes in the Pontefract and Castleford areas had shown great results in reducing reports of anti social behaviour.
The young people we spoke to said there wasn’t enough to do in Ossett. We think if we can provide some positive activities it could help reduce the problem of anti-social behaviour. A lot of them expressed an interest in football so we are going to give this a try.
Local councillors said young people in the town have been complaining about having nothing to do during the evenings, particularly since floodlights at the Church Street skate park stopped working.
Insp Sally Fryer of the northwest NPT said she expected the activites to make a difference.
I always see it as important to engage young people in postive activites.
This is a very promising scheme and we hope it will keep young people away from trouble
The matches, aimed at anyone between the ages of nine and 18, will begin next Friday 21st February at 6pm.
Anyone interested in playing should turn up on the night, where they can sign up for regular membership.