The East Dunbartonshire Community Safety Steering Group has today launched a new scheme to improve relations between Police Officers, Environmental Wardens and young people in communities through a football coaching scheme in schools.

Working in partnership with the Council, the Police, the Scottish FA and the Leisure and Culture Trust, the East Dunbartonshire Commmunity Safety Steering Group provided £11,850 in funding towards teh 2011-12 programme that brings 23 police and 2 environmental warden football coaches into a number of primary and secondary schools across East Dunbartonshire to help assist in the delivery of the coaching sessions.

The Convenor of Housing and Communities at East Dunbartonshire Council says "I'd like to congratulate the Police Officers and Environmental Wardens and thank them for their commitment to young people who will no doubt benefit greatly from their contact with teh Officers.  There will also be much wider benefits brought to communities through the scheme and East Dunbartonshire Community Safety Steering Group is pleased to fund and support such a proactive and preventative approach."

Building on the success of a similar coaching initiative rolled out last year between East Dunbartonshire Schools and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, this programme aims to build positive relations amongst Police Offiers, Environmental Wardens and young people. By working with young people through football, our front line Officers can build trust and respect amongst young people for the role they play in our communities.

Having completed a Scottish FA approved level one Development Activities course, the Officers are now assisting in the football session in over 30 of our schools across East Dunbartonshire including Bearsden Academy where the benefits of the scheme can already be seen.

This programme aims to develop skills, confidence and self-respect amongst young peopl and in turn will reduce the risk of anti-social behaviour against Police Officers and Environmental Wardens and will create a stronger image in our communities of the sterling work the emergency services do.