A WINSFORD police community support officer (PCSO) is hoping a new approach will stop youngsters becoming involved in crime.
PCSO Kevin McShane has seen first-hand the problems that can be caused by young people during his time pounding the streets of Winsford.
Now he is hoping to address this with the next generation of young people by paying regular visits to a local playgroup.
He said: “I’ve been dropping in at Jumping Jelly Beans at the Cheviot Centre for a while. It’s a great way to get to know local people and to build relationships with youngsters from a very early age.
“The aim is to build on these relationships as the children go from pre-school to primary school and then on to secondary education.
“By the time they reach high school age we hope they will have a greater understanding of the police, more respect for the work officers do and, subsequently, will think harder about the effect their behaviour has on others.”
So far the response from parents of the children and those who run the playgroup has been extremely positive.
PCSO McShane added: “Everyone at the playgroup has been really supportive of what we are trying to do.
“They are also using the contact as a way of passing on details of any problems or issues in their areas.
“Because of their commitment with children it can often be difficult for them to make it to the Community Action Meetings or surgeries, so the playgroup is the perfect place for them to meet with me.”
The playgroup is now on a summer break, but will return in September at the new venue of Handley Hill. Meanwhile, also starting in September, the Cheviot Centre will host an after school club, running from 3-5pm, for lone parents and their children.