YOUNGSTERS took part in a police community engagement day to highlight safety issues and crime awareness.
The 45 ten to 17-year-olds from Eastwood attended the Lifewise Centre in Hellaby to take part in workshops around fire and water safety, drug awareness, anti-social behaviour and healthy relationships.
They also learnt about knife crime as part of the force’s week-long initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of carrying blades.
The young people were also invited to take part in a craft and music session.
On the day, the youngsters were given a disposable camera to document their experiences ahead of a follow-up event with parents at My Place on St Ann’s roundabout, Rotherham, on Monday (Feb 19) from 5.30pm when they will showcase their photos and crafts and share their findings.
The Hellaby event was organised in partnership with Rotherham Council, Clifton Learning Partnership and Barnardo’s.
Det Chf Insp Lee Berry, who co-ordinated the engagement day, said: “The focus of the event was education, building relationships and crime prevention.
“It is vital that our young people recognise issues, know where to seek support and understand what is happening in their area.
“Eastwood is home to families from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds and that in itself can cause issues around language barriers, behaviour and different lifestyles.
“We hope that by bringing everyone together we can help to educate people on community cohesion and also let families know that the police and our partners are here to help.”
PC Nicky Dewhurst, who is based in Eastwood, said: “We know our young people are very creative and the craft sessions are all about engagement.
“At the end of the event, the feedback was very positive and the group said they felt safer and enjoyed getting to know the police.
“We want young people to have confidence in their local police, to report crime and talk to us about their issues.
“We are all there to help and work together with families in Eastwood to help everyone get the best possible quality of life.”