A snooker scheme for youngsters which cut crime and anti-social behaviour in Church has chalked up a national award nomination.
The Tilley Awards recognise crime fighting projects where police, community safety groups and the public work in partnership to tackle community problems.
More than 110 projects entered this year’s awards and the Snooker Youth Club project was one of just 11 finalists from across the country.
And the scheme has received the backing of six-times snooker champion Steve Davis for all the work it does in the community.
Prior to the project, the Church ward saw high levels of criminal damage and anti social behaviour and residents believed that young people from the area were responsible.
Consultation showed a lack of local provision for young people and that they wanted somewhere to go that was relatively unstructured and gave them an opportunity to socialise.
The partnership was led by multi-agency team ‘YNOT’ in partnership with the Paul Hunter Foundation, and former world snooker champions attended to lend their support.
Steve Davis, said: "This fascinating project could be replicated across the whole country. It’s not just about snooker; it’s about educating and inspiring young people.2
Up to 40 young people now attend the snooker club each night and so far the initiative has seen a 13 per cent cut in anti-social behaviour and 27 per cent reduction in criminal damage. Lancashire Youth Offending Team has also reported a 73 per cent drop in first time entrants into the criminal justice system.
Hyndburn Inspector Andy Winter said: "This is a fantastic achievement for YNOT and I congratulate them on their nomination for this national award.
"It really goes to show that partnership working really can provide huge successes in a community."
PC Rob Flanagan, of Lancashire Constabulary, said: "I’m particularly delighted that community workshops have revealed an improvement in perceptions of young people and that young people have a more positive view of service providers locally."