A NEW campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour is urging young people to keep out of trouble this summer.
Safe4summer is encouraging teenagers to think about the impact anti-social behaviour can potentially have on the community – from the dangers of riding off-road motor vehicles, starting deliberate fires or making hoax calls to the emergency services.
It also looks to educate youngsters on a host of subjects, from healthy eating and alcohol consumption to sex education and bullying, as well as offering a raft of free sports, activities and volunteering opportunities.
Wigan fire station borough commander Steve Sheridan said: “Sadly, the summer holiday period poses many potential dangers to young people – from the risks associated with starting small fires, to the often irresistible but tragic lure of dangerous buildings and open water.
“Our aim with safe4summer is to help everyone enjoy this time of year safely and responsibly, while ensuring resources are available to respond to real emergencies.”
Supt Bob Lomas, of Wigan Police, said: “We recognise that it’s only a small minority of young people who get involved in dangerous or inconsiderate behaviour, and in fact it’s adults who are responsible for the majority of anti-social behaviour in our borough.
“Sometimes young people get caught up in what may appear to be a bit of harmless fun, but not everybody shares the same opinion.”
Insp Ian Kennedy, of Leigh Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Young people will be able to take part in activities such as camping, golf, mountain biking and kayaking.
“Social events and community volunteering opportunities are also available, while additional police patrols in Leigh town centre and other hot spots will give residents the reassurance they need that anti-social behaviour won’t be tolerated.”
Coun Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council’s cabinet champion for communities and the environment, said: “We want to assure local residents that agencies are working together and constantly finding innovative and cost effective ways of combating the affects of anti-social behaviour on local neighbourhoods.”
The safe4summer initiative is run by Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police and various community groups.
Youngsters from Lowton Community Cadets, aged eight to 13, attended the launch at Leigh Fire Station and will start a clean-up campaign on Pennington Flash next week.
The safe4summer website also features a thought-provoking video which urges young people to show respect for others while asking parents to play a greater role in checking what their kids are up to over the summer.
An online competition is being run as part of the campaign for a chance to win an i-Pod Touch. For more go online to www.safe4summer.com.