Community fun days to tackle nuisance behaviour

Families enjoying Bouncing in Broadgate event

Families enjoying Bouncing in Broadgate event

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A community group has been given a £10,000 cash pot for fun days in the area, in a bid to cut youth crime.

The Broadgate Residents Action Group (BRAG) had their lottery bid accepted, to employ a company to stage events for families.

Leaders hope the events will deter young people from causing “nuisance” in the neighbourhood, and the Mayor of Preston will be visiting the project on Thursday evening.

Dave Johnston, secretary of BRAG, said the group had applied to Awards for All for the cash, after hearing about the work done in other areas to reduce juvenile crime by entertainment and bouncy castle hire company KHT Kastles.

A scheme was started last year, but leaders found more needed to be offered to keep in contact with young people in the area.

Dave said: “Problems are around kids getting into gangs, becoming a nuisance, throwing stones at buses and trains, we’ve had that for a couple of years.

“But the fact they are bouncing around on the castle means they are not out on the streets being a nuisance.

“We know that this company we’re working with has been doing this for 10 years, and every time they do one of these events, the juvenile crime does go down.

“The hard part is trying to get it to stay down, so we hope we can do something with the kids where they say ‘We don’t want to do this throwing stones any more, this guy is being nice to us’. We just try to do things with them and hope that it works.”

Bouncing in Broadgate runs on Thursday evenings until August 4 in Meadow Park.

It includes small and larger bouncy castles, as well as games for children to play individually.

Families are invited to have a picnic on the site, and organisers say about 100 children have attended each event.

Mayor of Preston, Coun John Collins, will be at Thursday’s event.

Joe Lavelle, owner of KHT Kastles, said the projects were designed to cut anti social behaviour, and to boost social inclusion and encouraging families to use the green space for picnics. He said they had been successful elsewhere, and were already having an impact in Broadgate.