Young offenders learn consequences of crime

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NINE young offenders, victims of crime and people deemed at risk of getting involved in trouble have completed a course aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour in Sheffield.

The youngsters, aged 13-16, enrolled on a five-day Achieving Respect and Confidence course run from Elm Lane fire station in Longley.

They visited inmates at Doncaster Prison and took part in forums with police officers in which they were taught about gun and knife crime.

The course was first run in 2009 and aims to highlight the consequences of anti-social behaviour and teach youngsters new skills.

It is run by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and South Yorkshire Police and is funded by Sheffield Council’s Youth Offending Service.

Keith Watts, from South Yorkshire Fire Service’s community safety department, said: “The course helps the youngsters not just in terms of teaching them firefighting skills and techniques, but also by showing them the value of things like teamwork, discipline and communication.

“We encourage them to think about their behaviour and to make positive choices towards improving their life chances.”

The participants were all presented with certificates to mark their afchievements by Lord Mayor Alan Law.