FENLANDER: Sex, drink and drugs under spotlight in council’s “Against ASB” event

SEX, drink and drugs were the hot topics at the launch of a drive to combat anti-social behaviour launched by Fenland District Council this month.

More than 60 teenagers came along to a youth arena in March’s West End Park to learn more about a range of issues affecting young people and about how they can stay safe.

They were invited to fill in a questionnaire quizzing them on their knowledge about sexual health, alcohol, drugs, road safety and crime and anti-social behaviour. Then they toured a number of stands where staff were available to answer their questions and give advice.

The questions included: “What should you do if a friend collapsed from drinking too much?”, “Cannabis can affect mental health – true or false?” and “Which STI is most common among young people?”

Those who completed the questionnaire could then go on to play various sports and Nintendo Wii games, have a go on a graffiti wall or DJ mixing and get free food at a barbecue.

The “Against ASB” event was organised by Fenland District Council’s Safer Fenland team. Other organisations taking part included the police, the fire service, the locality team and Drinksense. It was the first in a series that FDC is planning to stage in the district over the coming year.

One teenager said: “I’ve found out about fire safety, drink and drugs and what the effects of alcohol abuse are. I think this is important so young people like us don’t get into drugs or get involved with naughty things so we don’t go to prison.”

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Councillor David Oliver, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for community safety, said: “Young people often get a bad name for anti-social behaviour even though the vast majority don’t ever get involved in that.

“But, as we know, they can get into trouble in all sorts of ways and so it’s really important that they have access to good information and advice and know where they can turn for help. Events like this are one of the ways we can provide that.”

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