SPACE 2018 is set to be the biggest and best yet – with Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis continuing to support the summer activities project for young people.
Reintroduced to Staffordshire in 2015 by Mr Ellis, following a successful scheme in the 1980s, the Space programme brings together police, public, voluntary and private sector organisations to help nurture, support and guide Staffordshire youngsters and discourage the potential for anti-social behaviour (ASB)
The PCC’s commitment and funding of Space will be formally recorded at Monday’s Staffordshire Police and Crime Panel (PCP) meeting at the County Buildings in Stafford.
More than 18000 attendees in activities across the summer holidays in 2017 – an increase of 5669 from the previous 12 months – with the age range of youngsters eligible due to be extended this year, for 8-17-year-olds (previously 11-17-year-olds).
Furthermore, statistics show a drop in police-related youth-related ASB throughout the Force during the period when Space was in operation, with 1091 recorded cases between mid-July and early-September 2017, compared to 1768 during the same period 12 months earlier. These are influenced by a wide range of factors, including weather, opportunities to engage in activities of interest, operational activity together with changes to Force recording practices.
The PCC office is also exploring the potential to extend the coverage of Space to other holiday periods.
Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said: ‘Space is going from strength to strength and part of the ongoing promise to do more for young people.
‘We’ve had huge numbers attending and levels of recorded youth-related ASB were significantly reduced compared to the previous year.
‘Staffordshire, like many areas, experiences higher rates of ASB during summer holidays than at other times and I’m keen that efforts are made to tackle the annual spike which happens year after year.
‘I was inspired by memories of the 1980s when officers from Staffordshire Police engaged in sport and other fun activities with local youngsters throughout the summer holidays. For youngsters of today, my approach to Space is very different. I first introduced a new look Space programme in 2015 by bringing police, public, voluntary and private sector organisations together to help nurture, support and guide local young people and to keep communities even safer.
‘Now, three years on, Space is going from strength to strength and my plan is to grow investment in the programme and widen its approach, while extending it to beyond just the summer holidays.
‘Success for the youngsters is seen by the smiles on their faces, opportunities experienced for the first time and the things they’ve learned.
‘Space 2018 is aimed at increasing skills, improving health and wellbeing, and creating opportunities for young people to take part in positive activities to make communities safer and has previously run during the summer holidays.
‘I believe joint investment in positive engagement will change attitudes and mindset of those participating and ultimately make the communities of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent even safer.’
Space 2017 Evaluation
Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis brought back Space in 2015. In 2016 Space ran between Monday 25 July and Friday 2 September and covered areas across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. More information is available at www.staffordshirespace.uk
A press release about Space 2016 can be read here
Space was originally an activities scheme led by police in Staffordshire during the 80s and 90s aiming to engage with young people. The new version of Space provides fun activities for 11 – 17 year-olds during the school summer holiday. The programme is co-ordinated by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and was delivered by a wider collaboration of public and voluntary organisations.
A Proof of Concept Report about Space 2016 highlights the “significant positive feedback” from local authorities, businesses, communities and young people themselves about Space.
Space 2016 is now over but we want to hear your views and thoughts on its future. If you have a minute please let us know.