City West helps to put the drop on anti-social behaviour

A project set up by a social landlord and a charity in Salford has helped incidences of youth anti-social behaviour (ASB) drop by 90 per cent.

For the past 17 months, City West Housing Trust and the Mary Magdelene Church in Eccles have been working with national charity Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) to deliver the Winton ROC Café – a youth centre providing a safe area for young people to take part in social activities and play a role in improving their community.

Figures from Greater Manchester Police show that since April 2013 - when the Café opened - incidences of youth ASB in the Winton area have fallen by 90 per cent.

Matt Jones, Assistant Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at City West, said: “We believe all of our customers have the right to feel safe in their communities – which is why we are committed to tackling ASB and its causes.

“A 90 per cent drop in youth ASB may seem like a difficult thing to achieve – but if we can work effectively with our partners and ensure that young people have a place off the streets where they can socialise safely, then half the battle is already won.”

The Winton ROC Café opens its doors to 11 to 16 years olds every Friday evening at the Magdelene Centre in Winton, and gives young people in the community the chance to participate in activities including table tennis, pool, arts and crafts in addition to community volunteering activities.

Salford City Council, Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service also support the project and regularly drop in to talk to young people about the impact of ASB in their communities, while working to improve the relationship between young people and authority figures.

Matt added: “With many local youth facilities closing across the UK there is desperate need to provide spaces where young people can go to have fun and socialise in a safe environment while also learning how to become an active member of the community.

“Our work with the Mary Magdelene Church and ROC shows that by encouraging stronger relationships with older generations and authority figures, we can make strides in improving and maintaining happy and sustainable communities.

“We look forward to continuing the successes we are seeing with the Winton ROC Café and hopefully provide a great example of how to tackle ASB to other communities across the country.”

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