Police praise for youth club work

Tha High Sheriff of Lancashire's Young Citizen Award at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters, Hutton.  Winner Ashley Thompson and his mum Donna with Boathouse Youth manager Laurance Hancock (left),  PC Nathan Gulati (community beat-Bloomfield 2 ward) and Boathouse youth worker Ben Wilson (right).

Tha High Sheriff of Lancashire's Young Citizen Award at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters, Hutton. Winner Ashley Thompson and his mum Donna with Boathouse Youth manager Laurance Hancock (left), PC Nathan Gulati (community beat-Bloomfield 2 ward) and Boathouse youth worker Ben Wilson (right).

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A POLICE officer working in a ward which runs a successful youth club has described how anti-social behaviour has almost been eradicated.

The Boathouse Youth, which saw up to 459 youngsters sign up to after school activities last year, is preparing to help even more children when it moves into the former South Shore library.

And PC Nathan Gulati, a neighbourhood beat manager for Bloomfield ward, says the club has already stopped young people from causing havoc on the streets.

He said: “We don’t have any juvenile anti social behaviour because of the Boathouse and the work they do.

“They offer so much for young people and everyone who lives nearby goes there.

“On the odd occasion we do find someone causing trouble we signpost them to the Boathouse, tell them about the activities and they go there and become a regular member.

“During the days they aren’t open there’s no problems because the club has such an impact and teaches them about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and anti-social behaviour.”

The club will move from its rented premises at St Peter’s Church on Lytham Road to its new home at the former South Shore library in April.

It will be open seven days a week and be able to accept even more youngsters than ever before in its three year history.

Laurance Hancock, general manager of the club, said: “There’s no restrictions on the time we can open.

“While we are in the church hall there’s Brownies and Guides that use the same place, but when we are in the new building we can attract more people with other interests.

“The police has noted there’s been a drop in anti-social behaviour and we were commended sometime ago for the work we have done to reduce crime.”

PC Gulati says the situation in Bloomfield ward is in stark contrast to what he sees in other parts of the resort.

He added: “If I drive up to the north end of Central Drive there are swarms of kids kicking footballs against walls, smashing windows and causing problems for residents, but on our patch that doesn’t happen.

“The perception of children is quite often negative but on my patch we don’t get complaints from residents about groups of kids and they’ve built up a mutual respect.”

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