Cops and youths are dodging

COMMUNITY-minded cops have put away their handcuffs and picked up balls in a bid to engage with young people in their area. Three Safer Neighbourhood Team officers in Fortune Green ward will be training up to become dodge ball instructors. And they are

COMMUNITY-minded cops have put away their handcuffs and picked up balls in a bid to engage with young people in their area.

Three Safer Neighbourhood Team officers in Fortune Green ward will be training up to become dodge ball instructors.

And they are hoping to find money to keep their new dodge ball sessions going in order to break down barriers with young people and make their area safer.

Sgt Patrick Conyngham said new dodge ball sessions at the Sidings Community Centre, off Maygrove Road, Kilburn, were part of a plan to tackle the lack of activities for young people.


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He said: "We are coaching the kids ourselves. We are that passionate about it and we want to put together a team that goes on to compete and win nationally."

"This is the first dodge ball team in London outside the corporate world. We want to make it into a big thing so that young people from across Camden can get involved."

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Police Constable Gareth James said: "It's to build confidence in us. When we ask kids what they think their number one hate it is stop and search. But we are doing this to break down barriers. We want to help, guide and instruct."

Asked why they had chosen dodge ball as an activity, Sgt Conyngham said: "It's tactics. You've got to work as a team and it's really great to get that going."

The team said they had had positive signs of financial support from five businesses in the area but were also hoping to get funding from other sources, including Camden Council.

The workshops will begin on April 26 at the Sidings Community Centre and will become regularly available on Mondays and Wednesdays for 11 to 16-year-olds.

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