Kicks programme breaking down barriers with the police | News | Official Site

Chelsea FC Foundation Kicks teams were in action at Motspur Park in south-west London recently, in a London-wide Premier League Kicks tournament organised and run by the Metropolitan Police crime prevention, inclusion and engagement team.

A host of local clubs including Fulham, QPR, Brentford, Arsenal, Millwall, Leyton Orient and Watford were pitted against each other in an action-packed day of football. The Met Police we on hand to provide a range of engagement opportunities, including young people getting the opportunity to swap their shin pads for riot shields and interact with police officers from all areas of the force.

The tournament aimed to tackle young people’s negative perception of the Police and breakdown the barriers of police engagement. In addition to the football tournament, the Met ran youth engagement workshops with all teams; to allow young people to understand how the Met operate and allowed young people to air their opinions and perceptions.

Although hesitant at first, the young people soon got into the swing of things and by the end they were scoring lots of goals and engaging in positive dialogue with the Police.

The event engaged over 180 young people from all over London and is one of many initiatives Chelsea FC Foundation, the Met and the Premier League are committed to in order to create a better outlook for young people and a closer positive relationship with the Met Police.

George Bournous, the Chelsea Foundation’s senior youth inclusion officer said: ‘It was great seeing our young people play and engage with the Met and other London teams, with some very positive outcomes and smiles all round. We hope to host a youth engagement tournament at Cobham soon, so we are looking forward to more positive outcomes.’

John Joseph, the Met’s PL Kicks coordinator added: ‘Whether delivering grassroots football as a club coach or as a police officer, the one common objective that we all share is to help keep young people safe, away from crime and onto positive paths through education and opportunities. The partnership that the MPS has with these clubs is best described as great and coins the saying, together we can and will keep our young Londoners safe.’

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