Thanks to a partnership between AFC Fylde Community Foundation and Fylde Community Safety Partnership, anti-social behaviour in the Fylde has been reduced by an impressive 30 per cent.

The initiative which has been backed by St Annes Town Council, Fylde Council and Lancashire County Council ran from 21 July to 29 August. During this time, representatives from AFC Fylde Community Foundation and Fylde Community Safety Partnership delivered regular free community sports activities to more than 1,800 young people in areas where anti-social behaviour usually spikes during school holidays.

The sessions, which took place in a number of parks in the area including Hove Road Park, Freckleton Memorial Park and Wesham Community Park, were designed to engage young people aged 10 – 18 years old, in multi-sport activities.

Bryan Ward Community Safety Manager at Fylde Community Safety Partnership commented: “We were delighted to fund a programme of diversionary activities provided by the football club during the summer holidays.

“It has provided young people from across the Fylde with a host of sports which have not only had a positive impact on the level of anti-social behaviour in some of our key ‘hotspot’ areas but have provided a healthy way of concentrating their energies.”

The community foundation is part of AFC Fylde and has been established for 18 months. It aims to improve the lives of young people in the Fylde through sport.

Sport included football, cricket, dodgeball, handball and netball to keep children off the streets and instead involved them in stimulating free community sports activities.

Statistics show that following the programme anti-social behaviour has reduced dramatically across four areas in the Fylde. Ashton Ward St Annes reduced by 20 per cent, Central Ward 31 per cent with Freckleton West and Park Ward down by 60 per cent and 78 per cent respectively.

The programme has been so successful AFC Fylde is continuing its work with Fylde Council and The Safety Partnership to ensure activities are up and running during every school holiday over the next 12 months.

Tom Hutton, director of community development at AFC Fylde commented: “We are over the moon with the results. Trends show anti-social behaviour massively increases during school holidays and especially over the summer.

“Without the funding from St Annes Town Council and the Fylde Community Safety Partnership, none of this would have been able to go ahead. Through the dedication of our founding members and their commitment to serve the Fylde, we have successfully made our community a better place to live.”