Team of teens wins nation's top crime prevention award

Article date: 28 October 2001

A team of Durham teenagers beat off fierce competition to winBritain’s top crime prevention award, it was announcedtoday.

The Brandon Youth Project – which consists of seventeenagers aged between 12 and 16 – has been named the NorwichUnion Neighbourhood Watch national award winner at a ceremony inNottingham, attended by the Rt Hon Bob Ainsworth MP.

The students, who also won the ‘Home Secretary Award forYoung People’, were presented with a winning cheque of £1,000for their scheme, and a commemorative plaque.

Winning students - Emma Lawson, Lynsey Hind, Jodie Nattrass,Scott Nattrass, Lee Tobin, John Kidd and Dwayne Heslington -impressed judges with their innovative programme to help reducecrime and anti-social behaviour amongst the youth of Brandon, aswell as improve relations with adults and authorities.

The Brandon Youth Project was one of 300 entries in thisyear’s Norwich Union Neighbourhood Watch Awards, and they arethe first group of young people to win the National award. They aresupported by youth worker Lynne Readman.

Brandon, a former mining town, has suffered from a highincidence of unemployment, youth nuisance, crime and anti- socialbehaviour among young people.

Through fundraising activities such as a 24-hour lock-in and bagpacking at the local Sainsbury’s, The Brandon Youth Projecthas greatly improved facilities in the community. Some of theirachievements include the establishment of a junior youth club,which has grown to 120 people in the last year, a senior drop-incentre and better access to sports facilities to give kids‘something worthwhile to do’.

Rt Hon Bob Ainsworth MP, Home Office, said: "I am delighted tobe able to recognise and reward the outstanding efforts of theyoung people of Brandon to improve their community and provideactivities to divert their peers from crime and anti- socialbehaviour. They are excellent role models and fully deserve therecognition of this award."

John Howell, director general of the National NeighbourhoodWatch Association, said: “The Norwich Union NeighbourhoodWatch Awards have brought to light some fantastic talent this year– and it is very encouraging to see the work young people aredoing to build safer communities. The innovative work the studentsin Brandon continue to carry out is testament to all NeighbourhoodWatch members across the country.”

Ben Welsh, director of communications and marketing services forNorwich Union Insurance, said: “This is the seventh year thatNorwich Union has supported the awards. While there can be only onenational winner, all of the finalists have played a very importantrole in combating crime in their local areas and we congratulatethem for their efforts.

“It is members at grass roots level who are key to theNeighbourhood Watch Association’s success and we’redelighted to be able to honour their hard work.”

The Norwich Union Neighbourhood Watch Awards are open to allmembers from the nation’s 155,000 Neighbourhood Watchschemes.


Notes to Editors:

  • Neighbourhood Watch was set up in the UK in 1982 and has grownrapidly ever since. There are now 155,000 NW schemes covering over6 million homes. This makes it the largest voluntary movement inthe UK. NNWA is the national charity that supports, promotes andrepresents Neighbourhood Watch in the UK.
  • The Norwich Union Neighbourhood Watch Awards 2001 aresponsored by Norwich Union in association with BBC Local Radio,the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers and theLocal Government Association. The judging panel will includerepresentatives of all the supporting organisations.
  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer, insuring 1 in5 households.
  • Norwich Union Insurance Limited. Registered in England Number99122 Registered Office 8 Surrey Street Norwich NR1 3NG
  • Member of the General Insurance Standards Council
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on thissite
  • A selection of images are available from the CGNU Newscastsite at

For further information, pictures or interviews pleasecontact:

Gabrielle Brewer or Matt Buchanan at QBO on (020) 7379 0304 or07939 347 293 (Gabrielle) or 0780 350 1804 (Matt)

Liz Kennett/Jenny Chapman at the Norwich Union Press Office on08703 666 863.

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