Youngsters to Get Taste of Army Lifestyle

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Youngsters to Get Taste of Army Lifestyle

Posted: 23/05/2008 21:44:00

Youngsters from across Shrewsbury are set to get a taste of life in the military at an exciting two-day event to show them there is more to life than hanging around on the streets.

Local police and community support officers will run Exercise Youth Inclusion at Nesscliffe Army Training Camp on June 7th and 8th, with the support of Shropshire Army Cadet Force.

The idea behind the weekend event, which will be based on a basic Army Patrols Competition and will see teenagers completing various military-themed tasks, is to improve relations between the police and young people and show them that there are things more fun and productive than gathering in groups on the streets.

Shrewsbury police officer, Sergeant Richard Jones, who is also a Territorial Army Major and second in command of the West Midlands Regiment, a battalion of 143 Brigade based at Copthorne Barracks, has been the main organiser of the event and is hopeful it will be a success.

“It’s hoped that the exercise, run by us for Shropshire Army Cadets, will encourage youths, some of who may be in the fringes of anti-social behaviour, to do something else with their lives rather than risk throwing away opportunities,” he said.

“We have invited a cross section of teenagers and hope the event will help build even better relations between them, the police and the local military.

“The youngsters will be split into groups with an LPO or CSO and get the chance, led by members of the Shropshire Cadets, to complete an eight-stand ‘patrol’ at Nesscliffe. They will also take part in night ‘patrols’, a march and get the chance to have a go on a paintball range.

“They will sleep in tents and be provided with Army ration packs for meals. It will be an exciting experience of the sort of training military personnel undergo.”

Around the exercise will be a localised leaflet campaign in the areas the youths live, letting residents know that police are aware and dealing with anti-social behaviour and that the Army event is just one strand of our wider work.

“We really hope that if some of those taking part are just on the edges of partaking in anti-social behaviour, they will realise there is more out there than potentially ending up with an ASBO or supervision order,” added Sgt Jones.

“By improving relations between us and youngsters, low-level anti-social behaviour and crime are reduced, leading to reassurance and increased confidence and satisfaction among the community.

“Tackling problems around anti-social behaviour is not just about enforcement, it has to be balanced with options and opportunities for those involved.”


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