Scores take part in charity football tournament Date published: 16th April 2019 1.39pm

Scores of young people from across Cheshire took part in a youth football tournament this weekend in a bid to tackle knife crime and anti-social behaviour.

The force organised a seven-a-side football tournament at the Halton Stadium in Widnes and 160 youngsters, aged 13 to 16, from each of the constabulary’s eight Local Policing Units (LPUs) took part on Saturday 13 April.

The event was part of the national KickOff@3 initiative, which was started by an officer in the MET Police, with the aim of engaging with youngsters as part of the ongoing fight against knife crime and anti-social behaviour. All the money raised from the tournament went to two local charities, Halton Haven Hospice and Young Addaction Halton.

The winners of the tournament were, in the 13-14 age group Widnes Warrirors and in 15-16 age group Liera Tangos (Runcorn), and they will now go on to represent Cheshire at the national KickOff@3 finals in London in July.

PCSO Paul Barker, who organised the tournament, said: “It was a superb day. There was some very competitive football on display and it was a fantastic way to engage with youngsters from across the county about knife crime and other criminal activity and give young people a positive view of the police.

"We even had a team made up of Syrian refugees who have resettled in the UK who really enjoyed the day. The fact that we also raised over £1000 for two good causes was the icing on the cake.”

Inspector Fez Khan, from Runcorn LPU, said: “The police play a part in enforcing knife crime but the public are a massive partner in this as well and we need everyone to speak to their families and friends to educate them about the dangers of knife crime.

“We have done a lot of work in the community to help tackle this and try to bring the community together because this is not something that the police can tackle on their own.

“We want to keep people safe and if the community know someone who is not listening to us and carrying a knife, then the public need to let us know.”