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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Fishing scheme catches Wigton youngsters’ attention

A fishing and environmental group has been working towards reducing antisocial behaviour in Wigton.

Wigton Borderlines photo
PC Chris Blain, right, presents a cheque to Chris Bowman, left, of Borderlines

The Borderlines group works across north Cumbria and over the past 21 months has been trying to get youngsters involved in fishing.

These efforts contributed to a reduction in youth crime and antisocial behaviour of more than 50 per cent.

Founding director of Borderlines Dr Brian Irving said: “We work with a wide range of offenders, kids with problems at school, those with antisocial behaviour problems and other mainstream groups like schools, colleges and people with learning difficulties.

“In the case of the Wigton offenders, we engaged on their terms and they genuinely wanted to learn about fishing and the environment.

“The rest is easy and the move away from crime is achieved without the participants even noticing.”

PC Chris Blain, of Wigton police, who was involved in the project, said that some of the youths were hard to engage, but that the programme had been successful in changing people’s behaviour.

He said: “The project teaches young people about how to fish, safety, and to respect the countryside environment.

“I have personally attended a number of these sessions and have seen first hand the effect it has had on this group.”

Borderlines member Chris Bowman said: “The participants are fundamentally good lads.

“Some had lost their way a bit and what we did was provide them with a focus away from crime and into a fantastic pastime.

“Not only do they learn about fishing but they also learn to respect the environment and to understand how fragile it is.”

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