A project aimed at stopping unemployed young people in Blackpool from turning to a life of crime has been hailed a success.
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said the role of the Prince’s Trust in helping cut youth offending rates in the resort is “essential”.
It comes as he presented awards to a group of 28 young people from the Fylde coast, aged 16 to 25, who completed the charity’s Get Started With Survival course.
Last year, those who took part in the challenge saw their combined arrests fall by 90 per cent following completion of the course.
Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has given £20,000 to the Prince’s Trust over the past two years to fund programmes like this and has already committed to doing so again this year.
Before taking part, last year’s participants had gone missing from home 220 times between them.
Since the course, not one of them has been reported missing.
Mollie Dodd, 16, who took part this year, said: “I joined the course to improve my fitness and help with my discipline before I join the army
“I have really enjoyed all of the activities.”
Shane Holt, also 16, added: “Before the course, all I did was play on my Xbox and I was really lazy.
“But since taking part, I have improved on my fitness and discipline and I want to go into the Royal Marines.”
Sue Littlefair, Prince’s Trust project manager for Blackpool, added: “The Get Started courses are a fantastic way of supporting young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to get into work, training or volunteering, making a real difference to their lives.”
The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped 750,000 young people since 1976 and supports more than 100 every day across the UK.