Derbyshire Police and Fire join forces to offer youth engagement
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We have been working with Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service to deliver a youth engagement scheme to a small group of young people in Derby.
Between Monday, 27 and Friday, 31 January, the two blue light emergency services jointly delivered a ‘Project Switch’ intervention course to a group of young people in the east of the city.
The purpose of the scheme is to help reduce anti-social behaviour in the local community by providing young people with an opportunity to develop socially and personally as well as learning about the consequences of crime, not only for themselves, but also their families and their local community.
The course is designed to use both classroom-based workshops and practical activity to engage with the attendees, focussing on: understanding the risk of getting involved in criminal activity, the consequences of committing crime, managing emotions and looking at reasons why people offend, the wider impact of certain types of crime and careers.
Activities included: trauma care, ladder drills, hose running, BA search and rescue techniques, confidence and team building as well as gaining an understanding of the role of both the police and fire service.
The young people that attended have previously been involved with the police and volunteered to take part on the course.
Sergeant Graham Young, who is in charge of the Safer Neighbourhood team for the area, said: “The initial group of young people were carefully chosen as we had seen them becoming increasingly involved in criminality and anti-social behaviour in their communities.
“This scheme gave them a unique opportunity to break that cycle and perhaps see an alternative path.
“The initial results are very promising, with a reduction of their involvement in crime or anti-social behaviour in the area.”
On the final day they demonstrated the skills that they had learnt by completing a firefighter drill which involved running out hoses, performing a ladder drill and demonstrating search and rescue techniques. Upon completion of the course, all attendees attended a pass-out ceremony and were presented with certificates from senior members of Derbyshire police and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS)
Amy Cartledge, Youth Officer for DFRS, said: “Working in collaboration with Derbyshire police has meant we can share ideas and experience to allow a more comprehensive delivery of Project Switch.
“The project allows young people to experience things that is not part of their everyday life and gives them the opportunity to grow in self-esteem and confidence.
Julie Berry, Engagement and Events Coordinator at Derbyshire police said: “Watching the young people progress during the week and being able to be part of their journey was very rewarding.
“It makes all the hard work worthwhile when you watch them complete their pass out parade and receive their awards on the Friday.”
This is the first Project Switch course to be delivered following a successful pilot carried out in August 2019 and we aim to hold four courses a year across the city and county of Derby and Derbyshire.