MPS tackles youth relations with football tournament
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service will kick off a football tournament with local young people in an attempt to gain their trust.
The KickOff@3 event will see around 100 young people join MPS officers and colleagues from Wiltshire Police in a series of football matches on Sunday (April 29). Hundreds more will take part in further tournaments around the country before a grand final in June.
The project aims to establish long-lasting relationships between the force and youngsters, which it hopes will “continue beyond the duration of the tournaments”.
KickOff@3 was established by MPS Police Constable Michael Wallace and local social inclusion project manager Ashley Levien, and has been heavily supported by the force’s Black Police Association.
Now in its second year, 300 young people have already taken part in the initiative, with various police forces hosting tournaments across the UK.
Last year, there were six tournaments in Havering, Bromley, Waltham Forest, Hammersmith & Fulham and Barnet with a finale in Waltham Forest.
In 2018, West Midlands Police, Durham Police, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Hertfordshire Constabulary will also organise Kickoff@3 events, which will lead up to a ‘Championship final’ at the Metropolitan Police Sports Club in Croydon on June 17.
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, head of community engagement for the MPS, said: “The Met is delighted to support the KickOff@3 event this year.
“This is a fantastic community-led initiative which aims to bring young people together in a safe and sporting environment and help them apply the lessons of sporting success to develop their lives with purpose.”
Mr Levien said: “KickOff@3 is a powerful initiative that brings young people from all walks of life together and gets them involved in something positive whilst engaging with them and breaking down barriers between their local police forces and those in a position of authority, which I believe makes us quite unique, especially in today’s climate.”