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Community clean up transforms rubbish into art


PCC Sue Mountstevens

Young people are clearing up the streets and turning litter into art with the help of Avon and Somerset Police, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens and local charities.

The police and PCC are joining forces with Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) in Bristol, the YMCA in Clevedon and DreamScheme in Highbridge, helping young people make a positive contribution to areas where local people have complained of nuisance problems.

The young people will be tackling the problems and cleaning up their local areas working with local artists to transform litter in artworks.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Anti-social behaviour is the single most common reason that the public contact the police and the issue which is raised with me by residents most often. 

“I welcome these initiatives which will help the public see that young people can and do make a positive contribution to our society. It also gives young people the opportunity to learn that they can earn respect for themselves by showing respect for their communities.

“The Constabulary and I are delighted to be supporting these charities and giving young people the chance to make a positive contribution to their local community.” 

Inspector Julie Knight, who coordinates the force’s response to anti-social behaviour, said: “As well as giving young people the chance to make a positive change in their local area; these projects are also an opportunity for us to build on existing relationships with young people in the area to increase trust and confidence in the police and encourage young people to report any issues to us.

 “All too often young people have a bad press, with reports of underage drinking, thoughtless damage or rowdiness. In truth it’s only a minority of young people who get involved in this sort of behaviour. Most teenagers are law-abiding – in fact, much of the long-term anti-social behaviour reported to us is committed by adults.”

Teenagers at KWMC are working with Bristol-based artist Henry Liam Collins on the ‘Rubbish Remixed’ project – turning abandoned items into musical instruments - a workshop which will run from Wednesday August 14 to Friday August 16.

Hannah Smith, KWMC’s young people’s programme manager said: "We're delighted to be working with Avon and Somerset Constabulary on the 'Rubbish Remixed' workshops, which will encourage us to look again at objects within our community and see the value and potential in things that others have cast away." 

Young people from the DreamScheme project in Highbridge and the YMCA in Clevedon will work with Somerset-based artist Fiona Campbell to create sculptures from found objects on August 23 and 28 respectively.

At each of the projects the young people will be joined by PCSOs from their local neighbourhood teams and you’ll be able to follow the projects on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Other ways we’re working to prevent anti-social behaviour this summer include:

  • Targeted patrols of areas where local people have reported problems with anti-social behaviour
  • Police officers patrolling residential areas, parks and lanes in Bristol and Bridgwater on horseback. Mounted officers can see a lot more than colleagues on the ground and can cover larger areas
  • In Weston-super-Mare PCSO Kylie Channing has teamed up with FREE (Free Running Educational Experience) to offer free running or ‘parkour’ to fifteen young people aged between nine and 15. The weekly sessions begin on Wednesday August 14 at Weston Youth Centre and include a meal. The instructors are giving up their time and skills for free, while the charity 5 to 25 Partnership has provided funding
  • Encouraging children in North Somerset to talk to local officers about the issues affecting them by asking them for specially-designed cards with crime prevention and safety advice.
  • Handing out ‘credits’ to young people in Wells who are being positive role models, looking after their friends or showing community spirit. The credits count towards end-of-year rewards for student achievement at the local Blue School
  • Working with the YMCA in Bridgwater on a programme of activities for young people including a forest school and cookery event.


Anti-social behaviour is defined as ‘acting in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the perpetrator’.

Anti-social behaviour covers a wide range of behaviours, including criminal offences and incidents not covered by current criminal legislation, so we work closely with local councils and organisations like housing associations to make sure it is dealt with effectively using the most appropriate powers.

If you are experiencing problems with nuisance or disorder, you can call us on 101 or contact your local council for help and advice.


Posted on Thursday 15th August 2013
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