Hundreds of teenagers took part in an event focussing on antisocial behaviour.
About 1,000 secondary school students in Hartlepool joined together Hartlepool Borough Council, emergency services and other key organisations at an event to raise awareness of antisocial behaviour and its consequences.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Day (ASBAD), an annual multi-agency event organised under the auspices of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, took place at the Borough Hall on the Headland.
It was is for all Year 8 (13/14 year-olds) pupils from the town’s secondary schools and aims to educate young people through a series of interactive workshops about how unruly behaviour can affect other people’s lives.
Issues covered by the workshops included internet safety, healthy relationships, hate crime, alcohol and drug substance misuse, hoax emergency telephone calls, litter and the impact on others of large gatherings of young people.
The event helped young people to:
•Learn about the risks of using alcohol, tobacco and illegal substances;
•Recognise and manage pressure to make safer choices about healthy lifestyle;
•Recognise and manage pressure from others threatening their personal safety and well-being;
•Develop effective ways of resisting pressures, including knowing where to get help and advice;
•Recognise when others need help and how to support them.
Barry Coppinger, Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, who attended the event, said: “I think this is an excellent event as it brings together all of the agencies who are committed to community safety in Hartlepool.
“Most importantly of all, the event provides an opportunity to engage with young people and hopefully deter them from anti-social behaviour.
“Anti-social behaviour is an extremely high priority for me. We do get a significant number of complaints and sometimes people view groups of young people as a threat, but quite often they are just gathering together to be with each other and be safe and secure themselves.
“The vast majority of young people are well behaved and we need to do all we can to support and develop them as our citizens of the future.”
Jack Palmer, 13, a student at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College who lives in the Grange Road area, said: “I’m hoping to learn about the different things that can go wrong as result of anti-social behaviour.
“It’s a good idea to have events like this focussing on Year 8 students because this is an age when anti-social behaviour often starts. Some people think it is cool to be anti-social and this event will help to stop that.”
Tegan Thompson, 12, who lives in the Stockton Road area and also attends English Martyrs, added: “I’m hoping to gain more knowledge about anti-social behaviour including how it can affect your life.
“Some people think it is clever to do things which are bad but they don’t realise the hurt they are causing for others.”