STUDENTS have been helped to become good neighbours as part of an awareness roadshow.
As part of an annual campaign, police have been visiting schools to talk to youngsters about the problems surrounding antisocial behaviour and other types of crime.
Officers have already stopped off at Seaham School of Technology and are spending today at Shotton Hall before heading to St Bede’s schools in Peterlee tomorrow as part of the campaign.
The Durham Constabulary sessions are aimed at Year 8 students.
And the force has plans to eventually roll the successful sessions out to all East Durham secondary schools, which will follow on from the Year 6 safety carousels held at the start of the academic year.
Sergeant Tracey Whelan, of the safer neighbourhoods unit, said the events have proved a hit in helping to drive down antisocial behaviour.
She said: “The basis of the events are to raise awareness of some of the antisocial behaviour issues that effect our communities and the consequences of becoming involved in this type of behaviour.
“The aim is to steer young people away from this type of activity in the future and to raise their awareness of the harm this can cause.”
As part of the events, police also draw on the expertise of partner agencies.
They also work with the fire service, Durham County Council, East Durham Homes, the 4 Real service, which is a young people’s alcohol intervention team and the Safer Durham Partnership.
During the session, the youngsters take part in discussions looking at antisocial behaviour, its impact, how preventative measures are enforced and how crime can affect families.
Other issues talked about include awareness about weapons, hate crime, arson, internet safety and cyber bullying, alcohol awareness and environmental issues, including litter and graffiti.
All of the pupils who take part receive a certificate to mark their success.
Police Community Support Officer Carole Hutton, of Seaham Neighbourhood Policing Team, helped run the day at Seaham School of Technology, which is on her beat.
She said: “Seaham Police and Seaham School work well together and the school welcomed this event with open arms.
“The students of Year 8 were a credit to the school and pupils after the event said they enjoyed the day immensely.”
She also sent her thanks to the other organisations involved.