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Vulnerable young people given VIP treatment at Watford FC

14 Aug 2019
  • 40 vulnerable young people invited to Watford FC game.

  • The young people were given coaching experience and stadium tour.

  • Event was part of Hertfordshire’s anti-knife campaign.

Watford Football Club invited 40 vulnerable young people to their Premier League match against Brighton at Vicarage Road, on Saturday 10 August.

The young people were invited by the club as part of an initiative run by the Watford Community Sports and Education Trust and supported by both Hertfordshire Constabulary and The Josh Hanson Trust. The event was part of ongoing partnership work aiming to provide support and opportunities for young people in the community.

Those invited got to take part in football coaching sessions at the club’s training ground, as well as having a tour of the Vicarage Road stadium. Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Gangs and Schools Team gave a pre-match pitch side presentation, before the young people got to watch the Premier League match against visiting team Brighton and Hove Albion.

The young people had been identified through various initiatives linked into Hertfordshire’s Serious Violence Strategy, which aims to divert children and young people at an early stage to deter them from becoming involved in crime. The strategy links together professionals from the police, health, education, social services and other organisations that supports young people, so that those displaying signs that they are at risk can be identified and diverted through mentoring and engagement programmes. 

Sergeant Helen Croughton from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Gangs and Schools Team said: “Watford Community Trust treated our young people like VIPs, one young man is a huge Watford fan and this was the first time he has had the opportunity to watch them play, everyone had a fantastic day.

“We are delighted that Watford FC are showing their support against knife crime by supporting the Lives not Knives campaign. Our intervention with vulnerable children in Hertfordshire continues along with partnership working to provide them with positive opportunities such as this. Thank you to Watford Community Trust for organising this fantastic event and giving these children a day to remember”.

The Gangs and Schools team will be running events throughout the year, details of which will be shared via their Twitter channel: @HertsCYP.

Be on the look-out for warning signs that could suggest a child may be involved in gang activity:

  • A child or young person going missing from school or home
  • Significant changes in emotional well-being or significant decline in school results/performance
  • The use of drugs and alcohol
  • A young person meeting unfamiliar adults or a change to their behaviour
  • Relationships with controlling or older individuals or associated with gangs
  • Receiving excessive amounts of texts or phone calls and/or having multiple mobile phone handsets
  • Acquiring money or expensive gifts they can’t account for
  • Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries
  • Becoming isolated from peers or social networks
  • Carrying weapons

If you have any concerns about a young person displaying some of these signs you can report information online or speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via web chat 

You can also call the non-emergency number 101, and ask for Herts Police.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form.

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