03.12.08

Projection will tackle street crime, London council claims

AUTHOR: Inavate
Simulation will also include situations such as a landfill site

Children in south London will get streetwise with 360 degree projection that simulates an outdoor environment, Sutton Council has announced.

The council scooped £4 million of government funding and plans to create a multi-media studio where schoolchildren can role-play social and safety scenarios on a simulated street. Sutton Council hopes the centre will help it tackle drugs and alcohol abuse in the area.

Working with London based design consultancy, Land Design Studio, the local authority says it will create a “hi-tech” environment to aid local schools with street education.

The centre won the grant from the ‘myplace’ programme, a government scheme run by the Big Lottery Fund. Money from the Department for Children, Schools and Families is being given to projects across England in a bid to deliver world class youth facilities.

Cllr Graham Tope, executive member for community safety on Sutton Council, was “delighted with the government funding” and said the centre offered a “unique way” for young people to develop skills for everyday life.

He continued: “Our aim is to build a fairer, safer and greener community in which all can take part and take pride. This iconic, regional centre will benefit local residents and help young people in the borough and beyond fulfil their potential and play a full part in society."

Community services including a library, meeting rooms, an internet cafe and coffee shop are included in the plans. There will also be a 'white room' for arts and drama workshops, an eco garden, and Sport England standard facilities including the borough's only outdoor climbing wall and a ball sports area.

The project is being delivered by the council through its Safer Sutton Partnership, a collaboration between the council and the Metropolitan Police Service which brings together police and local authority staff.

Warren Shadbolt, head of the Safer Sutton Partnership Service, said: "We want to build a community in which everyone has a part to play - and make this part of South London an even better place to live. This unprecedented, purpose built development will go a long way to helping us achieve this objective."

The centre will be built to high environmental standards with match funding from the council.