Littleborough youngsters learn street safety skills

Date published: 11 March 2019

Teenagers at Littleborough Rugby Club have been learning about the dangers of child crime exploitation, drugs and knife crime.

In light of recent increases in knife crime and incidents involving young people in the local area, there was no better time for the young people of Littleborough Rugby Club to be given the tools and knowledge of how to be more street safe and street wise.

In partnership with Rochdale MBC, the rugby club ran four sessions over two evenings lead by a former parachute regiment soldier Dean Coady OBE of Urban Pure Solutions.

After leaving the armed forces Dean joined Greater Manchester Police in 1990 and remained ‘front-line’ throughout his career. He has been attached to numerous and varied Police departments including; Organised Crime, Murder Squad, Gang Unit, based in Moss Side and the Counter-Terrorism Unit, where he acted as an engagement officer, providing a conduit between the communities in South Manchester and surrounding areas, and the police. Dean is also a trained hostage negotiator and illicit drugs expert.

The rugby club was privileged and honoured to have someone like Dean come and deliver an interesting and thought-provoking programme called Street Safe.

It is directly linked to contextualised safeguarding which is peer to peer abuse and issues linked to child criminal exploitation and county lines.

The interactive session with Littleborough's young people helped give them a real understanding of risks on the streets and practically, how to remove themselves from that risk.

Mr Coady said of his time at the club: “They were a credit to themselves and the teams engaged really well with loads of questions and clearly took a great deal from the session.”

After the first evening, which he spent with the under 15 and 18 girls, he added: “Both teams had great attitude, interest and just what great young people they are. I would like to thank the coach’s managers and parents for bringing the girls to the session.”

Richard Rawlinson, under 14s coach thanked Rochdale MBC’s Community Cohesion, Resilience and Integration Manager Sajid Miah for his support for Littleborough RUFC. He said: “I would just like to thank Dean for the brilliant training he delivered to over 60 young players in what is a difficult subject area, and Sajid for the match funding support he has given the club.

“This has been a very positive experience for the young people and for the club as a whole.

“We wanted to deliver this training in response to some of the negative reports of young people in Littleborough and national increase in knife attacks amongst young people.

“At Littleborough RUFC we know that rugby is a brilliant engagement activity for young people in terms of their physical and mental health and we want to ensure our young people have the tools to keep themselves safe when they are out with their friends in their community.

“I would also like to thank club members who have raised the money needed to enable this training to go ahead.”

The part funding, that was provided by Rochdale MBC, enabled the club to have this training delivered to the junior players.

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