A youth project has been hailed a success at reducing anti-social behaviour on a Sheffield estate.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has worked with partners including the Salvation Army and South Yorkshire Police to deliver a 10-week youth club on the Badger estate in Woodhouse.
Youngsters meet once a week to take part in physical activities including football and basketball, as well as educational sessions around first aid, road safety and the consequences of anti-social behaviour.
The scheme runs from January to March each year and fire chiefs believe it is has played its part in reducing in arson attacks in the area, which have dropped by one third.
Arson reduction officer Steve Vinson said: “We can’t say that this project alone has led to the big reductions in anti-social behaviour but we are convinced that engaging with young people in this way is one of the best ways of building lasting, positive relationships which have long term benefits for the communities we serve.
“It’s only by working together that public agencies can put together initiatives like this one and we are grateful to all the partners involved in helping us deliver these youth clubs for the third year running.”
Arson attacks in South Yorkshire have halved over the last three years, with the fire service crediting community work with the reduction.
Firefighters tackled 2,527 arson attacks, including bin and grass fires, last year, which is half the number it attended three years ago, when the figure stood at 5,082.
Twelve years ago the figure was 11,303.
Recent initiatives held elsewhere in the county include a youth project held at Rotherham fire station, which aimed to highlight the consequences of anti-social behaviour and provide work experience to young people.
Arson cycle teams patrol known trouble spots during peak times of the year, speaking to youngsters about the consequences of arson.
Firefighters also visit schools and safety teams visit youth clubs to deter fire setting.
To report arsonists call 101.