BRADFORD youngsters experienced life in a mock police cell and learned how to take fingerprints as the first police camp of the year drew to a successful conclusion yesterday.

Four camps aimed at educating young people about anti-social behaviour and personal safety in a fun way are being run this year.

Bradford College students have worked with West Yorkshire Police and other agencies to design events for kids aged between nine and 15 to alleviate boredom and provide positive ways to channel their energy.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Joanne Dodds, and her consort Robert Dodds, were on hand yesterday to tour the activities on the last day of the four-day camp and hand out prizes to award winners.

During the day, around 160 youngsters took part in different group activities. They included being shown how to take fingerprints by crime scene investigators, and looking round a mock cell in a police van. They also learned about safety at rail crossings and took part in sporting activities including boxing and judo.

Bradford’s innovative police camps were established in 2009 and last summer they helped to reduce calls about anti-social behaviour by 15 per cent, compared to the previous year. There are four camps this year, all being held at Bradford College’s Trinity Green Campus. An official VIP Tour took place on Wednesday with the awards ceremony yesterday.

Police camps project manager Nosheen Qamer said: “We have been able to reach out to hundreds of youngsters.

"We have had activities run by West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service on toad safety, Bradford Council has been involved in recycling and anti-littering sessions, Places for People and Incommunities have run anti-social behaviour workshops, and Network Rail and British Transport Police worked with youngsters to understand the dangers on railway lines.

"By providing these key safety messages we hope that youngsters have the information they need to make safer choices in life."

Superintendent Vince Firth, of Bradford District Police, said: "The police summer camps allow police and partners to engage with young people and deliver our messages in a fun and innovative way. It means we can work with them to make sure they are safe and able to make informed decisions.

"Our aim is to educate youngsters on the consequences of anti-social behaviour and the importance of personal safety, so they can ultimately become confident young adults who will make a positive contribution to society."

Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: "I am happy to once again give my full support to the highly successful police camp. The police camp is a very successful initiative and it is great to see everyone getting involved in positive activities like this."