A FOOTBALL coaching scheme for disadvantaged children in Wrexham is to continue after it led to a major drop in crime rates.
Sessions for children aged between 13 and 18 took place on Friday and Saturday nights – prime anti-social behaviour times – last month at Queensway Stadium, Caia Park, in an attempt to keep young people off the streets.
And while the sessions were running there was a reported 46 per cent drop in crime.
Now after a meeting between organisers and North Wales Police Sergeant Helen Douglas, it has been confirmed the sessions will start again in November.
Advocates also hoped the initiative will be rolled out to other parts of the county that suffer from problems of anti-social behaviour and crime.
Richard Griffiths, 19, a Welsh FA coach who took the sessions alongside fellow coach Josh Roberts, said there had been great interest from local children and that the reduction in crime figures was an added bonus.
He said: “The sessions were really well attended and it gives the teenagers in Caia Park something to do, for free, on a Friday or Saturday night. We’ve had a minimum of 25 youngsters at each session which is 25 fewer children wandering the streets at night.
“It has been suggested crime rates in Caia Park fell by 46 per cent on the nights the sessions took place, which is brilliant.
“The children tell us they don’t have anything like this on offer usually but if they did that they would regularly attend.
“The fact that there was such a reduction in crime rates in the area while the sessions were on is a huge achievement for the scheme.
”We’re delighted the coaching sessions will continue in November as it makes ourb hard work worthwhile.”
Friday and Saturday sessions in Caia Park are expected to begin again on November 29 with Llay, Gwersyllt and Plas Madoc also in line for possible football nights if facilities can be arranged among the key parties.