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New way to beat anti-social behaviour through football

Friday, 24th September 2010.

Yobs who get into trouble in Haverhill on a Friday night could be sanctioned by the football clubs they play for on Sunday mornings, Haverhill Town Councillors heard this week.

Town clerk Gordon Mussett told members at Haverhill Town Council's meeting that Friday night was generally drinking night for young people in the town, rather than Saturday.

In many cases this was because they were playing football on Sunday mornings, so it had been suggested that agencies looking to reduce anti-social behaviour could talk to football club managers.

The hope was that a scheme could be operated whereby those who got into trouble on a Friday night did not get picked to play in the team on Sunday mornings.

Councillors had heard a report from the town's police chief, Insp Chris Galley, on recent crime figures and initiatives acrioss Suffolk and in Haverhill.

Priorities agreed at the recent and well-attended new Safer Neighbourhood Team public meeting had mostly been connected with anti-social behaviour of young people.

Cllr Maureen Byrne said she was sad and disappointed that there was a problem among younger age groups.

"I feel strongly we shouldn't be criminalising children, though," she said. "Most of them have family problems and in some cases parents don't even know they are out.

Insp Galley explained that community resolution, whereby other actions were taken with new offenders rather than prosecution, was being used more and more.

Across the county 1,300 crimes had been dealt with in that way.

The other issue being prioritised concerned Recreation Ground, where there were not just concerns over anti-social behaviour, but about people using it to train vicious dogs.

Cllr Paul McManus said there did seem to be an increase in dog ownership by unsuitable people, since there was now no requirement for a licence.

They were mostly among the younger generation and residents had seen dogs fighting on the recreation ground.

Insp Galley said the police and the town council had worked together to produce a questionnaire about what people wanted from the recreation ground and that had gone out to residents.

Haverhill Online News

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