Police to take on youths at football

POLICE are hoping to break down barriers and get youths on-side with an innovative new football league.The scheme will see youngsters pit themselves against their local police officers in a 5-a-side tournament.

POLICE are hoping to break down barriers and get youths on-side with an innovative new football league.

The scheme will see youngsters pit themselves against their local police officers in a 5-a-side tournament.

Inspector Ben Cook, Woodbridge sector commander, said: "It's a way of trying to bring about a more positive relationship between the police and local youngsters.

"We want them to be able to tell us about the issues that affect them in a more informal atmosphere, rather than them feeling like we are hassling them all the time.


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"You read a lot of negative things about the problems we have with youngsters in areas like Kesgrave and this is a really positive way of doing something about that."

The competition is open to all young people who live in towns and villages within the Woodbridge policing sector.

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Insp Cook said: "We've already had interest from teams in Kesgrave, Campsea Ash, Martlesham, Woodbridge and Rendlesham, and I think its something that will grow as people find out more about it."

The idea was the brainchild of Rushmere St Andrew's community police officer Karle Howard who has already organised similar one-off events.

Around 15-20 police officers are expected to get involved. Insp Cook said: "There will be a range of officers ready to play on the police team – from Detective Inspectors all the way down through the ranks."

A number of possible venues have already been lined up and it is hoped that the first matches can be played early in the year.

Insp Cook said: "Anyone who can get together a team of five and is interested in playing can contact us to find out more. It could be local youth groups or schools, or it could just be five mates who fancy a kick around."

Participants will need to be aged 14 or over. Games will cost £2 per person, to cover the hire of the venues.

If you are interested in entering a team contact Pc Howard on 01473 383487.

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