10 August 2009
This week young offenders of violent crimes from across the Caerphilly county borough are taking part in an initiative that explores the impact that violent crime can have on the victims and perpetrators of such crimes.
Funded by the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, the Aggrav8 programme is designed to target young offenders and those at risk of offending who are associated with any form of violent behaviour or who express issues surrounding anger management.
The programme combines drama techniques and exercises with specific aspects of psychology, such as perspective taking and role reversal, to heighten awareness and factors related to offending behaviour.
Cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "I am delighted that the Aggrav8 programme is to run again this year – the programme enables young people to explore their issues in an emotionally safe environment, and heighten their awareness about the consequences relating to offending behaviour and violence, which can only be of benefit not only to the youngsters themselves, but to the community as a whole."
Operational Manager for the Youth Offending Service, Michaela Rogers said, "One of the main aims of the initiative is to raise the young people's self esteem and help them identify skills they do not know they possess. Social exclusion and low self esteem are powerful motives for anti social behaviour and committing violent crimes, and this initiative gives us a unique chance to raise and address these issues with young people in an alternative way."
Another of the aims of the programme is to develop aspects of emotional literacy, which will help enable young people to be healthy emotionally, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic wellbeing.
The same scheme took place in the Caerphilly county borough in March 2008 with extremely positive results – of the 10 young people that took part in the scheme, all completed the course, with 6 of the participants receiving glowing reports from the organisers for their participation and effort.
Since taking part in the course, those 6 youngsters have required no further involvement with the Youth Offending Service and have committed no further crimes.
Michaela Rogers continued, "The excellent results of last year's Aggrav8 project speak for themselves, and clearly illustrate how effective and important initiatives such as this are in working with young offenders to help them see the error of their ways and turn their lives around."
For further information, please contact the local Youth Offending Service on 01495 235 623.
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