A project which aims to improve the relationship between the police and young people in Runcorn is being backed by Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner.
David Keane has awarded £700 from his Safer Communities Fund to the KOPS n Kids project which the local policing team has brought to Runcorn.
KOPS stands for Keep On Playing Sport. It’s designed to give local children a chance to meet police officers, and other partner agencies, in a fun, non-threatening environment to help develop relationships between officers and the community.
The project will run throughout the summer holidays with sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday in August at Brookvale Recreation Centre on Barnfield Avenue.
The free events cater for 8-16 year olds and feature a variety of activities including football, basketball and dance.
The project also provides an opportunity for local people to volunteer to support the sessions which will earn them a qualification with the AQA exam board.
PCC David Keane said: “I’m pleased to be supporting this innovative project which brings young people and police officers together.
“We know from previous projects that when young people have a good relationship with the police they are less likely to get involved in anti-social behaviour or commit crime.
“This not only helps raise the aspirations of local children, it also makes the community a safer place to live with less incidents of anti-social behaviour.”
PC Ian Hampson, who set-up the project, added: “It’s great to see the young people engaging and enjoying the activities provided whilst building positive relationships with the police.
“We have received so much support from local partners and the police and crime commissioner. Without their help, the programme wouldn’t run the way we want it to so we’re extremely grateful for the support.”
Local parent, Annie, whose son attends KOPs n Kids says it’s making a huge difference to his development: “The programme is absolutely brilliant. It’s so nice to see the kids smiling and getting off the streets doing something fun.
“As a parent, it’s amazing to see the great work taking place by local police and community partners. My little boy can sometimes struggle to get involved in activities but the team have been amazing at ensuring he plays a full and active role in all the activities.”
KOPS n Kids is one of 22 projects across Cheshire which has recently received Safer Communities Funding to support crime prevention or meet the objectives within the commissioner’s police and crime plan.
To find out more about the Safer Communities Fund, please visit click here.