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‘Operation Poppins’ – Tackling Youth Anti-Social Behaviour In Newcastle

Newcastle United Foundation joined Northumbria Police recently to learn more about Operation Poppins.

The multi-agency operation ran for the two week half term holiday period – with the aim of preventing young people on the fringes of anti-social behaviour being drawn into disorder by their peers.

Involving enforcement officers at Newcastle City Council, local Youth Offending Teams, Children’s Services, and Nexus, the initiative is designed to target anti-social behaviour as the the school year comes to a close.

The Foundation’s Youth Violence Project Coordinator, Jacqueline Critchley, was invited to shadow the operation; to gain a better understanding of the scale of the problem, as well as engage young people directly to discover the motivations behind anti-social behaviour.

Heading out on patrol with two police officers, Jacqueline gained some insight into the work they had done previously in the area, how they thought the operation would benefit young people, and some of the issues they had encountered.

They showed Jacqueline around some problem spaces where young people tend to congregate and issues with anti-social behaviour are more common.

Jacqueline said: “This opportunity was hugely beneficial to the work I do with the Youth Violence Programme, it helps to get a greater understanding of the motives and reasons for anti-social behaviour, as well as ways the programme and Newcastle United Foundation can support the issue.

“The Foundation works with a number of young people from the area, so any insight we gain through the initiative will be invaluable.

“I’d like to thank Northumbria Police and the Newcastle Youth Offending Team for offering the opportunity, and I hope to work with them more closely in the future.”

Northumbria Police Inspector Lesley Wheatley, added: “Operations Poppins has been a very useful tool to work alongside our partner agencies. It has given us all an opportunity to view the challenges we face as organisations and look at how we can work together to better to find a solution.

By reviewing these issues in conjunction with our partners like Newcastle United Foundation I hope we are able to effectively tackle the issues that are affecting our communities and also work to offer the appropriate help and engagement to the young people we encounter.”

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