Police in talks to open new Kingsholm youth club
POLICE are campaigning to kick-start a youth club in Kingsholm in a bid to combat spiralling antisocial behaviour.
After identifying a lack of facilities open to young people in the area, officers feel a youth club could take more youngsters off the streets resulting in a decrease in the number of antisocial incidents.
As a result, Gloucestershire Constabulary is now in talks with members of the community in order to get the project up and running.
A spokesman for the force said: "We're determined to make this idea a reality and that's why we've started consulting people in the area, whether that's youth workers, the community group or the residents themselves.
"Most importantly we want to ask the young people in Kingsholm what they want so that we can deliver something meaningful that will stand the test of time.
"There is a lot to be organised and we'll be looking for funding too but we are acutely aware that if young people have somewhere they can go and enjoy themselves responsibly there is a knock-on impact with antisocial behaviour.
"This will provide huge benefits for everyone in the community."
A meeting has been arranged with Sarah Penny and Sam Harness from the Gloucester youth support team to discuss ideas including a suitable venue, target age range, activities, and how to get the community involved.
Mary Bryon, who runs the Kingsholm Inn, thinks the new initiative can only be a good thing for the area.
She said: "They do not have any where that is just for them at the moment.
"Such clubs are good in any area and Kingsholm needs one too, otherwise they will just walk the streets."
Siri Na-Lampang, who runs Mangoes Thai Cafe in Kingsholm Road, said although there is not trouble on the streets many youngsters would benefit from the new club.
She said: "We do not get trouble in this area but there are many schools nearby and the children just stay at home because there is nothing for them to do."
City councillor Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wootton) said: "Any facility for young people to use can only be a good thing. However Kingsholm is very close to the city centre and GL1 Leisure Centre is walking distance as well as the tennis club in Longlevens. Young people can use the library, museum and arts centre. If the police are thinking about a new club it is important they talk to young people and see what they want."