A POLICEMAN is giving youngsters something to do in a bid to turn them away from the temptation of crime.
Pc Mel Wattley came up with the idea while on patrol in the Deighton area and now calls his scheme the D Project.
He uses sport, recreation, arts and the media in a bid to stop youngsters getting caught up in anti-social behaviour.
The Huddersfield North Neighbourhood Policing Team Officer has developed the revolutionary new programme with people who live in the area and Kirklees Council.
Pc Wattley said: “When we have spoken to young people in the area they have told us they want something to do, somewhere to go and someone to talk to.
“It was clear that a range of activities would help build better integration and cohesion and even aid regeneration.
“We are aiming to develop a diversionary daytime project, meeting the needs of young people traditionally outside mainstream support and who fall into the Neet category which means they are Not in Education, Employment or Training.
“Preventing young people being drawn into a life of crime and anti-social behaviour can be achieved by showing them they have choices.
“This is not a situation where we can afford to consider the ‘do nothing’ option. Society has serious concerns and by putting in the effort we can make a difference to young people’s lives.”
The team leader for Huddersfield North Young People Services, Mark Gilchrist, said the programme would change and grow to meet the needs of youngsters eager to take part.
He added: “We are looking to a long-term plan which it is hoped will start to address the fear of crime and focus on groups that contribute to this fear.
“Young people who are not in the education system and who are unemployed congregate in various locations in the Deighton ward during the daytime and pose a real threat to regeneration.
“A key opportunity for the participants will be the input of sport, recreation, arts, media and leisure professionals, with the possibility for participants to undertake specific accredited qualifications.’’
David Townend, of Deighton Sports Council, said: “For the young people involved it may provide a possible way into re-education, training and employment.’’