Paintball gun sessions to help discourage violence in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 11:14 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:15 30 April 2019
Arming children with guns and encouraging them to shoot each other - even if the bullets are only full of paint - might not seem the most conventional way of discouraging violence.
But a one man believes new paintball sessions he has organised for young people might be the answer to keeping them on the straight and narrow amidst fears of a rise in violent crime.
Brad Watson started the new Young Gunz paintball club near Needham Market after being concerned about the levels of crime in the area.
Having grown up in London, he has friends who have been victims to violence in the capital – but said: “It feels like it's starting to get a lot closer to us in Suffolk.
“A young man was recently attacked in Stowmarket. I feel the trend is following from London to here and that people are finding it more acceptable to rob and take stuff from each other.
“There's not a lot for young people to do around here and I feel like it is going to spiral out of control.
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“It was at the point where we thought we had to do something.”
His idea is to create a paintball league in Suffolk not only to give young people something to do, but enable them to release any adrenaline in a controlled, safe and productive way.
The first Young Gunz sessions were held in Badley on Saturday, April 27, with Mr Watson hoping to hold more regular events at an affordable price for young people, with prices from £10 for two sessions and parents also being able to join in.
“If we can get the kids together at a young age and playing together with each other, then maybe there won't be so much trouble,” he said.
“It's a little bit of an adrenaline-fuelled activity. We're trying to provide something they can get stuck into.
“Even if it keeps 100 kids from boredom, we have done something positive at least for the community.”
He stresses that it allows children to pall in a safe environment and that the bullets from the paintball gun don't hurt.
Anyone who would like more information about any future sessions should visit the Young Gunz Facebook page.