Teenager puts people in the picture about ASB
Dated: 13 Sep 2012[View Full Size]
A Northumberland teenager is putting people in the picture about anti-social behaviour - after changing her ways.
Paige Bowdon, from Ashington, was referred to Bedlington-based Choysez after becoming involved in low level anti-social behaviour.
However, since being part of the project, which supports young people in Northumberland who have been excluded from or struggle in the education system, the 17-year-old has altered her behaviour.
And instead of coming to police's attention for the wrong reasons, Paige has worked alongside officers to produce artwork to promote the Ashington Safer Summer campaign tackling anti-social behaviour over the school holidays.
The initiative also coincides with Northumbria Police's campaign 'Put yourself in their shoes' urging people to have tolerance and respect for one another and think about how their behaviour affects others.
Ashington Neighbourhood Inspector Barrie Joisce said: "Often young people are seen as the sole perpetrators of anti-social behaviour.
"However, Paige's story is an excellent example of a young person who has changed her behaviour and who recognises her previous conduct was wrong.
"She has given up her own time to develop the artwork in support of the campaign which demonstrates her commitment to being a responsible young person and that she doesn't want to be involved in anti-social behaviour - her efforts should be commended."
Paige added: "I was happy to do the artwork in support of the police campaign.
"I realise that some of my behaviour in the past may have upset those who live in the Ashington area and I am keen to change and don't want to be involved in anti-social behaviour moving forward.
"Working with Choysez has been great and allowed me to understand the impact my actions were having on others."
Chris Conroy, centre manager at Choysez, added: "It was a pleasure working with Paige again this summer and this is a really good example of how directed diversionary activities can help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour to the benefit of everyone involved in them.
"We were really pleased to be able to help with this campaign which we fully support."
Ashington Safer Summer saw increased police patrols and a zero tolerance approach taken on all forms of anti-social behaviour. Anyone caught offending risked being arrested, summonsed or given an on the spot fine. These consequences were also be spelt out in warning letters being issued to those recently involved in anti-social behaviour or underage drinking.
Anyone under 18 caught drinking alcohol in a public place had their alcohol seized and they were returned home.
Officers also liased with off licences to remind them of their responsibilities on the sale of alcohol, but also to look for the signs of proxy buying where adults buy a large quantity of alcohol to pass on to youths waiting nearby.
Insp Joisce added: "The Ashington Safer Summer campaign was designed to tackle street drinking and anti-social behaviour and improve the quality of life for residents in the area.
"It was also important to highlight success stories and seek to challenge the perception that all young people are involved in such behaviour.
"Police work closely with youth organisations in the area and the impact they can have on young people should not be underestimated.
"We will continue to tackle all forms of anti-social behaviour to create a Safer Ashington for everyone."
To report an anti-social behaviour incident contact police on 101, extension 69191 or via the Northumbria Police website.
For more information on Choysez visit, www.choysez.org
PC Anthony Pattison pictured with Paige and the Ashington Safer Summer artwork