CHILDREN in a village near Burton have helped to improve the look of an area previously plagued by antisocial behaviour.
After receiving many complaints from residents about youngsters in Barton under Needwood, the East Staffordshire Local Policing Team decided to step in.
But rather than attempting to round up the problem children, the team decided instead to try to reach out to them and give them something they could focus on.
The benefits of the project are now there for all to see with the completion of a community garden created entirely by the children in the area, some of whom had previously caused a nuisance for residents in Barton.
The garden has been created in St James’ Road, completely changing the look of an area which was once affected by antisocial behaviour and littering.
PSCO Steve Smith believes a lot of antisocial behaviour among youngsters is borne out of boredom and them not having anything to do.
After the children, aged between 10 and 15, were approached, PCSO Smith said they were happy to be given something they could get involved with.
He said: “It’s been designed completely by the youth of Barton. It was wasted land, there was a lot of antisocial stuff going on there.
“We wanted to give the kids the opportunity to create something that they respect, and if it’s something they have done they won’t trash it.
“In most areas affected by antisocial behaviour, kids don’t have a lot to do. But now they will be able to say ‘I’ve done that’.”
PCSO Smith also thanked businesses in the area which helped make the work possible by donating towards the cause after answering PCSO Smith’s plea.
Now the work on the garden is complete, the children of Barton will maintain the look of the garden to keep it looking its best, which will benefit both themselves and their community.
PCSO Smith added: “I’m a great believer in giving kids credit. We’ve had issues down there and have acted to try to prevent that, and this is what the outcome is.”