Soccer stars will be kicked out for bad behavious

PUBLISHED: 06:47 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:28 24 May 2010

A FOOTBALL league that shows youngsters who misbehave the red card has been cited as reducing antisocial behaviour in Weston

A FOOTBALL league that shows youngsters who misbehave the red card has been cited as reducing antisocial behaviour in Weston.Policeman Gareth Starr set up the sides for children on the Bournville, Coronation and Oldmixon estates to reward well-behaved youths.He regularly checks with the players' parents, teachers and his fellow officers to see whether they are behaving.Background checks with schools are carried out on interested children before they can join in the games.Sgt Starr recently banned a 15-year-old boy for six months after he was caught carrying a knife and threatening another youngster.He believes the league is working and youngsters are now staying out of trouble so they do not get suspended.Sgt Starr said: "I started the league up to enforce the message that if you behave then you will be rewarded."The boy who we've banned is totally gutted and he's now starting to behave, so we might cut his suspension if he continues."Others are realising that if you skip school or get into trouble with my officers then they will be sitting on the sidelines."Parents are also using it as a tool to get their kids to behave by threatening to tell us if they don't do what they're told. The level of nuisance crime has dropped on the estates and we're hoping to expand the league at the start of the season." Six sides from the estates have already joined and more children are waiting to sign up.The teams compete at Weston Football Club and plans are being made for the youths to go on and play for the senior side.The children pay between £1 and £2 for an hour session and Sgt Starr is looking for businesses to support the league by donating money for kit and equipment.

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