Sue vows to fight teenage crime using free toiletries and underwear with launch of 'Sue's Essentials'
PUBLISHED: 17:25 26 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:34 27 May 2016
East Cambridgeshire Police's crime reduction officer has launched her 'Sue's Essentials' project by handing out boxes of toiletries and sanitary items to colleges across the region.
The case of a 12-year-old girl caught shoplifting toiletries in Ely inspired Sue Loaker to kick-start ‘Sue’s Essentials’ - an initiative that aims to reduce crime – theft in particular – through the distribution of free toiletries, sanitary items and underwear.
Toothbrushes, sanitary towels, hairbrushes and bras are just a selection of goods on offer to teenagers who may be unable to buy the items themselves or may not be receiving them at home.
Ms Loaker believes that offering the items to the region’s young people for free can help reduce the number of teenage shoplifters, and hopes it will also aid in the prevention of bullying in schools.
She said: “Ultimately, it’s a self esteem issue, and not having these items can lead to bullying and crime.
“Some teenagers might not have the access to some of the items, so may feel that their only option is to shoplift.
“Shoplifting can escalate onto bigger crimes, so hopefully we can help prevent it by giving them the items they need.”
Ms Loaker was out across the region today (May 26) distributing packages to Ely College, Soham Village College and Witchford Village College have all received ‘care packages,’ as well as Ely Foodbank. The scheme is to also offer advice and support about healthy living and personal care.
Vice-principal of Witchford Village College, Sue Taylor, thinks the project will go a long way to protecting young people’s dignity.
She said: “Witchford Village College are really delighted to be supporting this project. The project helps those young people who need that gentle support to protect their dignity and respect and it’s an excellent community project.”
The project will be run as a discreet service, offering both male and female goods, and is being supported with funding from the East Cambs Community Safety Partnership and other community partners.