ANTI-social behaviour has been reduced in a Derbyshire village thanks to free boxing sessions.
Local police in Creswell have been providing the sessions for youngsters and have helped to reduce anti-social behaviour in the village by a third.
The Ozbox sessions have been running weekly throughout the school holidays and during this time the number of reported incidents of nuisance behaviour has dropped by 33 per cent.
Officers from the Creswell Safer Neighbourhood Team run the basic boxing and fitness sessions in Creswell Social Centre every Friday.
During the past four weeks there have been 37 reports of anti-social behaviour compared to 55 during the same period last year.
Police Community Support Officer David Mitchell organised the sessions to offer youngsters something to do and help build self confidence and discipline.
PCSO Mitchell said: “Fridays used to be our busiest night for calls about rowdy and nuisance behaviour but since we set up Ozbox we have had very few calls on these evenings.”
“Local residents and shopkeepers are also telling us the area is much quieter.”
The social centre is provided free of charge by Creswell Parish Council.
Ozbox was set up by Sergeant Steve Osbaldeston in Chesterfield in 2003 and is a boxing-based fitness scheme involving basic boxing skills and circuit training.
It was set up to encourage youngsters to learn self-discipline and control and discourage them from getting involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.
Sgt Osbaldeston has been awarded a CBE for his work.