‘Pod’ cuts crime

New youth shelter at Ferrybridge park. Pupils from Knottingley high school with PC Charlie Banks
New youth shelter at Ferrybridge park. Pupils from Knottingley high school with PC Charlie Banks

REPORTS of teenagers running riot in a Ferrybridge Park have stopped since the installation of a £10,000 youth shelter.

Police say they have received no calls about anti-social behaviour in the Castleford Road area since the pioneering “pod” was built last month – with just one report across the whole town.

PC Charlie Banks, community constable for Knottingley and Ferrybridge, said: “The figures are absolutely incredible. I knew the shelter would have an impact on crime, but the results are mind-boggling.

“I think it goes to show that a lot of the time people are intimidated by groups of teenagers on the street when they are doing nothing wrong or just expect them to start causing trouble. A lot of people have this generation tarnished as monsters, but they just need somewhere to go.

“With this shelter they have that – they have somewhere to go and they’re off the streets so it’s a win-win situation.”

The shelter, donated by Upton’s Sutcliffe Play, includes lighting and a facility which allows youngsters to play music using Bluetooth technology.

It was installed through a project by Knottingley Community Partnership – which includes Ardagh Glass, Sutcliffe Play, Wakefield Council, Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) and Scottish and Southern Electricity.

PC Banks said: “I’d like to thank all the businesses that have supported the project so far – especially Sutcliffe Play of Upton, which provided the pod free of charge and Julie Watson and Nick Whitton of Ardagh Glass.”

The partnership now hopes to improve the subway in Ferrybridge, create a place where youngsters can play football on Knottingley’s Warwick Estate and build a shelter at Knottingley High School.

To support the project contact PC Banks by calling Pontefract police station on 01977 601045.