A project aimed at helping troubled young teenagers to turn their lives around proved a success in Feltham.
More than a dozen boys and girls took part in One Life, a joint project with the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade aimed at tackling antisocial behaviour and its effects on the community.
During the two-day course, youths were taught about fire safety from the LIFE (Local Intervention Fire Education) team, given basic fire fighting techniques and participated in team building activities.
They were also visited by a tactical support group, given information on Internet safety, learnt about current crime trends, counter terrorism, exploitation and cyber bullying.
Kirsty Wells, 15, of Hanworth, got involved in the One Life project after a friend recommended it to her. With an interest in becoming part of the force she was able to gain an insight into the different areas of policing and learn more about the grades and experience she needs.
Miss Wells said: “With the fire service we learned about using the hoses and from the riot police about gangs and weapons.
“I want to be a policewoman, in the dog handling unit, and found about the grades I need and was advised to join the police cadets.
“The experience has helped me know more about the police and how interesting their work is...and the different teams in the police.”
'Shocked at punishment for carrying knives'
Earlier this year, The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) secured further funding to continue to help tackle knife crime in the capital.
The short course was held on Wednesday (March 30) and Thursday (March 31) at the Southville Centre in Bedfont.
A majority of young people are picked by the community police as troubled youths they have come across who are in need of guidance in regards to the outcome of crimes.
Jordan Harding, 16, of Bedfont, who was shocked to discover the severity of the punishment for carrying knives, added: “We learnt mostly about gangs, knife and gun crime, and how much training the fire service have to get through to be a fire person.
“It’s taught me not to be hanging around the streets late at night and to find a hobby to do instead.
“It also made me aware of all the dangers and avoiding them.”
The initiative was first launched in 2015 for 14 to 16-year-olds from the local area to help them look at the consequences of crimes and antisocial behaviour, with a view to making better lifestyle choices.
It also aimed to build relations between uniformed officers and ‘kids on the street’.
LFB station manager at Feltham, Ben Moore, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for the young people to see the work of the police and LFB in a different light and learn about consequences of behaviour to them and the community.”
PC Caroline Baxter, Bedfont neighbourhood policing team, added: “It is important that young people in the community have confidence in themselves to be able to make the right decisions.
“This course has made a difference and will help them in the future. It was a great example of the emergency services working together to deliver a fantastic opportunity.”