Youngsters key message to cut crime

Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates presents the certificate to overall winner Lucy Bell.

Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates presents the certificate to overall winner Lucy Bell.

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COMMUNITY-minded youngsters have been rewarded for their crime-fighting endeavours.

Hartlepool Families First joined forces with Hartlepool Crime Prevention Panel to put on a six-week project for a group of keen children.

The Youth Crime Club met police officers, visited a police station and learned what is being done to stop crooks spoiling people’s lives.

The project culminated in the group coming up with ideas for a leaflet that will be distributed to 5,000 homes across the town with key messages about keeping property safe in winters.

The scheme was backed by the Hartlepool Mail, with crime reporter Mark Thompson visiting one of the sessions and picking the winning design.

That honour went to talented Lucy Bell, whose idea has been put on a leaflet with the message “Dark night? Think bright!”

But it was a difficult choice as Samantha Bowen, Liam Bell, Eliza Price and Macauley Dobson all produced excellent work. Michael Turner came a close second with his effort.

Paul Thompson, manager of Hartlepool Families First, said: “This sends out a message that young people in Hartlepool do care about the town.

“These children could be out there causing the problems that some do, but they have chosen to come here for the past six weeks and do great work. There will be 5,000 leaflets printed and we thank all of those who have supported the project and those who have given their time.”

Mail editor Joy Yates was among the guests at a presentation evening in One77, in York Road, where all the children who took part received prizes including gift vouchers and chocolates.

Ms Yates told the audience: “The winning design looks magnificent. Mark told me it was a very worthy winner.

“We work closely with all the organisations that have taken part in the project, so we are delighted to have been involved with the presentation evening.

“The project has produced amazing results and sends out a very important message.”

The project was supported by Headland Future, Victim Support, Cleveland Police, Tees Valley Fencing & Gates and Atkinson Print, which produced the leaflets.

Colin Hopkins, a crime prevention advisor based in the Community Safety Office in York Road, added: “Everyone has been great in giving money, time and their assistance.

“This was a real community project that showed what is great about the town.”