YOUNG people in Redditch are being targeted as part of an ambitious eight-week project to try to prevent knife crime.

The Advertiser reported last week that police officers are joining forces with Redditch Boxing Academy and Redditch Self Defence Association from November 1 to provide a drop-in advice centre, where people can talk to officers about their community and join in with lessons in self-defence.

The free to attend drop-in centre and classes will last for eight weeks and will take place at the Redditch Boxing Academy in the Matchborough Centre.

The classes will be taught by Redditch Self Defence Association's Pete Martin.

Redditch SNT Inspector Mark Chappell, who has helped to organised the initiative, said he hoped it would cut anti-social behaviour and violence including knife crime.

"We have organised this initiative with the aim of engaging with the young people in Redditch that are at risk of becoming involved in serious organised crime and preventing this from happening," he said.

"People of any age are welcome, but we are particularly hoping that the program will encourage engagement of our young people in Redditch's community that are at risk of knife crime and we also hope that it helps to reduce anti-social behaviour by giving the young people something interesting and fun to attend that is free."

He added: "We ultimately want to try to stop crime from happening and if we get one young person to attend and prevent them from becoming involved with serious organised crime then the initiative will have been a success."

The initiative will last for eight weeks and will provide people with a drop-in centre where they can talk to the coaches and police officers as well as free training.

The course will cover classes on anti-bullying, knife crime awareness, self-defence and anti-social behaviour.

Pete Martin said: "I am delighted to be part of this initiative and believe we can help to make a difference in the community.

"Promoting self-defence skills is a passion of mine and to be able to help tailor this to work with the police officers in Redditch and potentially help reduce young people in the area getting involved with serious organised crime is truly special."

A launch night is being held on Thursday, November 1 at 7pm at Redditch Boxing Academy.

Officers from Redditch's Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) will be on hand to talk to as well as the course tutors.

Following on from the launch night the free services will be available throughout November.

For more information on the classes and drop-in centre, call 07500 693 452 or visit