North Yorkshire Police and the British Esports Association have announced that the Cops vs Kids pilot scheme was successfully launched earlier this month. North Yorkshire Police and the Youth Justice Service created the initiative to utilise esports and gaming to foster positive police engagement with young people in and around the city of York.
The pilot’s inaugural session was held on August 2nd and was attended by four young people and four NYP officers from the local policing teams,who went bumper-to-bumper in an intense Rocket League matchup. Initial feedback from all participants has been overwhelmingly positive, with attendees praising the initiative.
The pilot programme will continue to run for the month of August, delivering a total of 14 sessions, each of which will offer a range of developmental workshops around professional skill sets and career guidance to the young people of York. Each session will be concluded with a casual gaming session in which officers from the Yorkshire police face off against the young participants.
Chris Simpson, North Yorkshire Police Digital PCSO, and creator of Cops vs Kids, launched the initiative to show young people that underneath their uniforms the police are real people too, and that they share similar interests to them – including gaming.
Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education at City of York Council, commented:
“I’m pleased to welcome this activity for young people who are already working with our Youth Justice Service; it’s really important that officers who can help them are accessible and trusted. Having fun while gaming is a great way to build relationships while supporting the young people to make positive changes to both their outlook and behaviour.”
Vicky Taylor, Chief Inspector, said:
“Cops vs Kids Esport Gaming initiative is a first for North Yorkshire Police and we are really proud of the hard work and dedication shown by all those who have been involved. It has offered a real opportunity for early intervention and prevention and help build bridges between North Yorkshire Police and young people living within our hard to reach communities, where there can be an inherent mistrust of the police. The feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive.’’
For more information on North Yorkshire Police, please visit: https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/
For more information of British Esports Association, please visit: https://britishesports.org/
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