POLICE officers were bowled over after winning a national award for promoting links with the community through cricket.

Pcs Tim Hayes and Mo Aziz, based at Dewsbury, brought the StreetChance cricket project to youngsters in Kirklees and they received the ‘Peace at the Crease’ award at an event at the home of English cricket, Lord’s.

Since 2010 the officers have used the concept of street cricket to break down barriers between police and the community. They have also used the gatherings as a way to talk to youngsters about crime and how it affects them. Acting Chief Insp Adrian Waugh, who nominated the two officers, said: “In Dewsbury, StreetChance has been used to tremendous effect to bring together young people from various backgrounds and different faiths, get them working and playing together in a team sports environment and enabled them to interact with their local police. It helps dispel any myths they have had about the police. Tim and Mo are the officers who drove the project and they and all of the other officers who took part fully deserve the recognition they have achieved. By working with StreetChance, as well as the Yorkshire Cricket Board and Kirklees Faith Network, we are making a real difference to hundreds of young people of Dewsbury.”

StreetChance works in urban areas where there is a lack of green spaces and therefore a lack of opportunity for young people to get involved in competitive teams sports like cricket. In Dewsbury’s weekly free street cricket sessions are held throughout the summer.