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News

Fact Or Fiction…

8th March 2012 by Onside Youth Zones

Is there no end to some Councils’ ingenuity when it comes to tackling problem behaviour from teenagers?

First there was The Mosquito, a troubling invention which emitted high frequency sounds that were particularly painful to the ears of under 25years. The idea was to deter young people loitering in specific areas.

Of course Council’s across the country jumped on the back on this one and began installing them in areas where young people congregated. Obviously the idea was barking mad and destined to fail! As soon as young people and their parents began to ask Councils “is this how you really want to treat our young people” they were taken down as quickly as they went up.

But wait! Cardiff Council are considering an idea even dafter than The Mosquito… The installation of special pink lights in areas where young people gather. For what reason I hear you ask… the pink lights show up teenagers’ acne, so that they run home screaming with embarrassment!

Councillor Neil McEvoy told the media recently that the Council was looking to pilot the pink light scheme for areas where young people congregate. He went on to admit: “I know when I was that age I would have been put off if blemishes on my face were shown up.”

Click here to read the full story on BBC News Online.

In my opinion the only people who should be ‘shown up’ here are Mr McEvoy and his fellow councillors for wasting everyone’s time and money on such a brain dead idea!

Mr McEvoy there is another way…

Provide a safe, modern, welcoming and affordable place that is open whenever schools are closed. Pack it with activities and great staff and I can guarantee it will be full instantly with young people enjoying themselves. Bingo, you won’t then have to go around with high pitched dog whistles or acne highlighters.

OnSide has worked closely over the years with public and private sectors across the North West. The Youth Zone model is our practical and achievable solution to young people congregating on the streets. With Youth Zones in Manchester (Harpurhey), Oldham, Blackburn, Carlisle and Wigan we are providing evidence our model really works. Take our Manchester Youth Zone (The Factory), within five weeks of opening 1300 young people have joined and they are averaging over 200 visits each evening.

We asked 14 year old Gemma Smith from Manchester whether she thought the Youth Zone was a better idea than The Mosquito or Pink Lights, she shook her head and said: “Sometimes I despair for the older generations.”

Point Proven!

Jerry Glover
Chief Executive, Onside