Cops take on teenagers in football match

Mahin Rahman and Pc Jordan Sharp, front, captains of the Sunderland Young Asian Voices and Neighbourhood Police football teams pictured before their friendly match at the Raich Carter Centre.

Mahin Rahman and Pc Jordan Sharp, front, captains of the Sunderland Young Asian Voices and Neighbourhood Police football teams pictured before their friendly match at the Raich Carter Centre.

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BEAT bobbies and ex-SAFC players teamed up to help kick out racism.

Officers from the Central Neighbourhood Policing Team pulled on their boots to take on under-17s from Young Asian Voices (YAV) in a series of indoor football matches.

Keeping a sharp eye on the two teams at the Raich Carter Centre in Hendon, was ex-Premiership referee Geoff Eltringham, while ex-Sunderland players Dave Rush and Nick Sharkey came along to see the cops win 6-5.

“The matches have been successful so far,” said Pc Chris Pearson, who is behind the initiative.

“We hope by using the Positive Role Model initiative through the medium of football, we can forge stronger links with the young Asian community and promote positive behaviour at the events which they then take out into their communities.

“Young people can often be blamed for committing antisocial behaviour, when most times they aren’t causing any trouble at all.

“It’s through initiatives like this that we are providing activities to take young people away from the streets, which in turn is dealing with one of the major concerns of residents.”

YAV project manager Kumareswaradas Ramanathas said: “YAV is always looking to develop long-term and new partnership initiatives to improve the lives of young people from all communities through youth, sports, volunteering and integration work.

“Young people are very appreciative of this opportunity and are looking forward to taking part in this ongoing initiative.”