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Football tournament supported by Met Police to take place at Bromley

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 April 2018

PC Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien. Picture: Met Police

PC Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien. Picture: Met Police

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A football tournament which is being assisted by the Metropolitan Police to tackle youth violence will be taking place this weekend (Sunday April 29) in Bromley.

It is hoped that the social initiative will increase engagement and trust between young people and police.

Around 100 people from across Bromley, Croydon and Lewisham will be taking part in the KickOff@3 tournament.

Winners from the event will go on to represent their team in the London finals this summer, alongside teams from Northern Ireland and other counties.

The aim of the project has been to establish long-lasting relationships between young people and local police officers as a youth diversion strategy.

It is hoped the relationships formed between the youngsters and the police will strengthen and continue beyond the duration of the tournaments.

Ch Supt Dave Stringer, head of community engagement, said: “The Met is delighted to support the Kickoff@3 event this year.

“This is a fantastic community-led initiative which aims to bring young people together in a safe and sporting environment and help them apply the lessons of sporting success to develop their lives with purpose.”

Now in its second year, the initiative has seen various police forces holding football tournaments in London, Hertfordshire, West Midlands and Northern Ireland.

KickOff@3 was established by Met PC Michael Wallace and Mr Ashley Levien, who runs his own social inclusion project called Suberbos Community.

The Met’s Black Police Association have been the main supporters of the project since the start of the initiative in 2016, by assisting with travel expenses and trophies.

Ashley Levien said: “KickOff@3 is a powerful initiative that brings young people from all walks of life together and gets them involved in something positive, whilst engaging with and breaking down barriers between their local police forces and those in a position of authority, which I believe makes us quite unique, especially in today’s climate.”

Before the start of each tournament, the players and supporters take part in a one-minute silence to remember the young lives that have been lost through knife crime.

The tournament will take place on Sunday at The Warren, Croydon Road, Bromley.

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