Children at every primary school in County Durham and Darlington will be taught about anti-social behaviour and safety thanks to a new education programme. 

All 232 schools in the region will benefit from teaching on crime prevention following funding by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Joy Allen. 

The initiative has been expanded after a successful trial in Ferryhill schools earlier this year. 

Since January, 140 children from five primary schools have taken part in a host of crime prevention activities including litter picking, safe road practices and property marking with UV marker pens.

The Northern Echo: Emily Snowball, project coordinator, with PCC Joy Allen Emily Snowball, project coordinator, with PCC Joy Allen (Image: Durham and Darlington PCC)

Thousands more pupils will now be able to benefit from the project, developed by community organisation Approach Too. Local charity Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC) will run the scheme force-wide. 

A full-time coordinator has been employed by DAAC to work with around 7,000 Year Five pupils. 

The Northern Echo: Emily Snowball delivers crime prevention advice to schoolchildren in FerryhillEmily Snowball delivers crime prevention advice to schoolchildren in Ferryhill (Image: DURHAM PILICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE)

PCC Allen said: “What our young community champions in Ferryhill have achieved since joining this project is remarkable. Their confidence has grown immeasurably, and they have enjoyed pushing their comfort barriers and developing their unique leadership styles. 

“Most of all, we have been impressed by the positive interest the young pupils have shown in their community and the world around them.

“Today’s young people will become tomorrow’s community champions, so I am excited to open up this opportunity to many more young people who will help me to deliver safer, stronger and more resilient communities.”

Recommended Reading

Alongside the Commissioner’s Challenge, funding has also been provided for new anti-social behaviour workshops to primary schools across County Durham and Darlington where reports of incidents are highest. 

The bespoke workshops will be delivered to children aged 10-11 across 72 schools reaching more than 2,000 pupils, and will highlight the effect it has on individuals and communities.

Bryan Russell, executive manager of DAAC, added: “We are very grateful the PCC has funded us to deliver these exciting programmes incorporating our unique delivery style as we find the young people engage more positively when they are being educated by other young people who also are positive role models.”