Eastbourne has seen a fall in the number of teenage arrests in the town, with the figure almost halving over the past three years.
Recent statistics released by Sussex Police show a decrease of 44 per cent in the number of ten to 17-year-olds detained in custody, dropping from 830 in 2011 to 463 in 2013.
The figure is impressive, especially when taking into consideration other results from across Sussex, with Hastings seeing a drop of 21 per cent, Chichester witnessing almost a 40 per cent decrease and a nine per cent rise in Brighton and Hove.
Inspector Rachel Barrow of Sussex Police said, “In Eastbourne, we work closely with partners to engage with young people, delivering services and activities and helping divert them from trouble.
“Together we tackle the causes of any criminal behaviour, so a great deal of thought goes in to diversion, targeted patrols and referrals to specialist services such as U19s substance misuse team and Targeted Youth Services.
“We also place an emphasis on early intervention with experienced schools officers in the large secondary schools and an anti-social behaviour officer, who identifies young people who come to notice at an early stage for low level complaints.
“The aim is to take steps with parents and partners to help change their behaviour, using tools such as Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and community resolutions where relevant.
“On top of that, the town has a very active youth partnership, delivering services and activities for young people through it’s youth strategy, which demonstrates how much this matters to professionals in Eastbourne who work with young people every day.”
Free football sessions is just one example of the services and activities available in the town to help encourage young people to avoid crime and anti-social behaviour. Sussex Police has voiced support for Albion in the Community’s football tournaments during the Easter holidays, which offer 12 to 19-year-olds the chance to play sport in a number of ventures throughout the town while they’re off school.
Rachel added, “My hope is that this will go some way to reduce the risk of young people getting involved in crime and anti-social behaviour, whether as victims or perpetrators, particularly during the school holidays when both boys and girls tell us that they struggle to find things to do with their time.”