British Esports Association is supporting the North Yorkshire Police and the Youth Justice Service in a new pilot to utilise esports and gaming to improve police engagement with young people in and around the city of York. The pilot will be led by York-based Digital PCSO Chris Simpson.
Esports and gaming will look to enable the police to reach vulnerable young people in communities in York, and to build positive relationships. Through this project the North Yorkshire Police will aim to help improve police engagement with children and young people in the area, as well as seeking support from their parents and guardians.
The pilot will cover a variety of sessions, such as: casual gaming, skills workshops, careers awareness, and building a safe place for young people. At the end of the pilot there will be a ‘Cops v Kids’ fun competitive gaming session with the police playing on a team against young people in the area.
The sessions are being held over the month of August and will run for two hours on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays between 12noon and 2pm at Moor Lane Youth Centre, York. A full breakdown of the timings can be found below:
Chris’ idea is to promote that, underneath the uniforms and despite the age differences, the police are human too, and they share similar interests with these young people – gaming in particular being a very popular common ground.
The pilot has been made possible by working in partnership with the British Esports Association (BEA) and the Youth Justice Service (YJS). British Esports Association will be supporting by providing kit and guidance throughout the pilot. A case study will be created of the findings.
Chris Simpson, North Yorkshire Police Digital PCSO, said: “Esports can help break down barriers within our harder to reach communities where there is an inherent mistrust of the police, hopefully leading to a mutual respect.
“The event will also help to develop engagement opportunities with parents and guardians within local communities, both online and in the physical world.”
“During these gaming sessions we can not only engage with young people, but also use it as a tool to help educate them around online safety, crime and anti-social behaviour.”
Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education at City of York Council, said: “I’m pleased to welcome this activity for young people who are already working with our Youth Justice Service; it’s really important that officers who can help them are accessible and trusted. Having fun while gaming sounds a great way to build relationships while supporting the young people to make positive change in both their outlook and behaviour.”
Alice Leaman, Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer, commented, “The pilot with North Yorkshire Police is a really exciting opportunity to understand how esports and gaming can help break barriers and engage all members of the community.”
For more information about ‘Cops vs Kids Esports’ or to arrange an interview, please email [email protected] or call 07741 175747.
About British Esports
The British Esports Association is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2016 to support and promote esports in the UK.
As a national body, its aims are to foster future British talent, increase the awareness of esports and provide expertise and advice. It’s focused on the grassroots level of esports and is not a governing body.
The Association helps educate the masses – including parents, teachers, media and government – around what esports is and what its benefits are. Its three goals are to Promote, Improve and Inspire.