Youth from the local community and surrounds attended a holiday camp at the Ocean View High School on Tuesday 3 July where Metro Police’s social crime prevention unit addressed social issues.The camp was organised by Zelda Martin, manager of the unit, and JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, dropped in to encourage the youth to stay in school and not to get involved with gangsterism.“The focus areas for the camp were youth at risk, domestic violence, parent and child safety and substance abuse. The crime prevention unit offers different programmes in different areas and we identify problems in communities and try to address them with the programmes,” said Martin.The camp was part of the holiday programme and Smith’s visit was welcomed.“He spoke to the youth about following their dreams and not to let other factors or obstacles prevent them from reaching their dreams. Smith also mentioned that life is about choices and external factors can have an influence on your choices,” Martin said.Smith also explained the Cadets programme ran by the City and encouraged the youth to ensure that they have good grades to be part of the programme.“Our youth are at risk due to social problems like gangsterism, substance abuse and peer pressure. Some of our kids live with domestic violence, child abuse and bullying at school or in the community.“These are all issues that the crime prevention unit addresses on a regular basis and I believe that the more information is available to the youth the better they can equip them,” Martin said.She also mentioned that you can change a child’s life by encouraging him to keep improving on their grades at school or help him to fulfill their dreams.“Sometimes the youth only needs an adult to listen to their problems and help solve them, but encouragement really makes a big difference in our communities,” she said. V Call Zelda on 082 569 0146 for more information.