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Police show off youth activities in the city centre in effort to cut antisocial behaviour

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Police have urged north-east youngsters to remember what activities are on offer on their doorstep, instead of turning to antisocial activity in the city centre.

Officers organised a youth engagement event yesterday in The Green in Aberdeen with the help of RGU Streetsport, Transition Extreme and Aberdeen Inspired.

Scores of young people took part in the organised football, skateboarding and spray-painting in the cobbled area beneath Union Street.

Officers patrolling the city highlighted the event to youngsters they came across, inviting them to take part.

While it was designed as a day of fun to mark the impending end of the school summer holidays, police were aiming to deliver an important message.

Inspector Vicky Stables said: “The main objective is to promote the activities in the young people’s own local areas.

“Hopefully, the youths know exactly what is going on in their own areas, but obviously they are welcome to have fun in the city centre, as long as they behave.

“Our approach is two-pronged, we would only ban someone from the centre of Aberdeen if they were committing an offence or being antisocial.”

There are two weeks remaining of the increased police powers in Aberdeen which has resulted in 19 youngsters being sent away from the city centre for a 24-hour period.

The dispersal zone was introduced in June and remains in place until the end of the month.

It includes Union Street, the city’s main shopping centres and surrounding streets.

So far, seven people have been charged for returning to the zone within the day.

Inspector Stables added: “It is all about breaking down the barriers to try and promote the fact that we are all humans behind the uniform.

“Sometimes, the youth of today can all be tarred with the same brush, but we know the vast majority are well behaved when they come into the city centre.”

Police bosses will begin a review of the effectiveness of the dispersal zone next month.

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