Peterborough Police Boxing Club set to launch Knockout Extremism

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Members of the Team GB boxing squad will put budding boxers through their paces at the launch of an initiative to divert vulnerable young people away from crime and potential radicalisation.

The Knock Out Extremism scheme hopes to give vulnerable young people a sense of belonging, camaraderie and friendship, and draw them away from more negative influences.

It is being run by Peterborough Police Boxing Club (PPBC) and DC Richard Ellison, a Prevent officer who specialises in stopping people from becoming radicalised.

The launch will take place at the Queen Katherine Academy, in Mountsteven Avenue, Peterborough, where youngsters will be able to spar in the ring with Team GB boxers.

They will be joined by MP for Peterborough Fiona Onosanya, who will give a speech, other boxing clubs from across the region and the sea, police and army cadets.

DC Ellison formed Knock Out Extremism with Chris and Vicki Baker, both Cambridgeshire officers and owners of the PPBC.

He said: “We want to get to vulnerable children before it’s too late and they become part of the criminal process. We’re looking to help people rather than criminalise them; we’re not locking anyone up and we’re not spies.

“This event gives us the opportunity to gain the trust of the other clubs and train their welfare officers and coaches to spot people who are at risk of radicalisation so that they’re happy putting in referrals to us. Then we can divert more people away from crime.”

DC Ellison said any sports initiative where children could be supervised by adults was a positive thing.

“Being part of a club is a positive outlet because quite often vulnerable young people are looking for camaraderie and friendship, which extremist groups can also offer them.”

The launch will take place at 1pm on Saturday July 21 and is open to all.