safer streets project to be rolled out across region

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AN initiative which gave youngsters free access to facilities at Teviotdale Leisure Centre is top be used as an example and rolled out across other areas of the Borders.

The Safer Streets project, which was part of a Scottish Government-led Cashback for Communities initiative, saw up to 300 kids attended the TLC every Friday night for the last six weeks.

They enjoyed free use of the swimming pool and inflatable, activity and fitness classes, dance mats and the Ignite interactive studio.

Although it finished last Friday, Paul Richardson, community safety officer with the safer communities team at Scottish Borders Council told the Hawick News it is something that will certainly be repeated in the town and across the region.

He said: “While there is a lot of kids in taking part in the activities, there are also some who are just here to meet up and have a chat.

“We’re looking at funding so we can extend this later this year as well as creating opportunities elsewhere in the Borders.

“It has been proven that this works really well and it can be used as an example in other areas.”

As previously reported, over the six-week period there has been a drop of 18 per cent in calls made to the police about youths in Hawick.

Inspector Paula Clark said: “It’s a fantastic facility and it gives young people the opportunity to take part in things they wouldn’t normally do in a safe environment.”

In an attempt to build on the success, youngsters will be allowed access to the TLC for just £1 until April 1.

Duty manager Lynne Nisbet said: “The whole place has been really busy with kids and they’ve all really enjoyed themselves.”

While project worker Debbie Sinclair added: “They’ve all loved it. It’s something completely different and because we’re working with them we’re encouraging them to speak to us when they’re out and about.”