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Police fight crime with games

Keeps 'em off the streets, innit.

Police in Edinburgh have found a new way of keeping naughty kids off the streets, out of trouble and in the library - but they're not going there to read boring old books, obviously.

According to the Daily Record, a new scheme was recently launched in the Moredun area of the city to combat anti-social behaviour through the power of games.

The local library has been hosting weekly PS2 gaming contests, and hoodies and happyslappers have been flocking to compete with police officers at the likes of Gran Turismo 3, Tiger Woods Golf and Pro Evolution Soccer - once they've worked out what a library is, of course.

Around 30 youths aged 13 and 14 took part in the contests, which ran over five weeks and rewarded the winners with shiny new games. Since the scheme kicked off, the number of youth-related crimes in the area is said to have fallen by half, and police are now considering holding more contests across Edinburgh.

Speaking to the Daily Record, competition organiser PC Rod Robinson said: "Basically, they had nothing to do so there was nuisance and rowdiness which led to a lot of calls.

"We told the children they had to behave or they would be banned from the contest. That really seemed to work. Some kids even told me they wouldn't be going out next week because they didn't want to risk getting excluded."

PC Robinson said he knows his way around a PlayStation, what with him having three kids, but he was no match for the youth of Moredun.

"It took them 15 attempts to beat me at Gran Turismo but they thrashed me at the football," he said.

"They were always telling me they would beat me next week. It showed them we're not just cops in uniforms.

"That communication will be beneficial in the future. I know a lot about these kids now and how they think."

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Ellie Gibson avatar

Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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