POLICE are running an arts event in South Oxfordshire today aimed at breaking down barriers with young people.

Sgt Vicky Sims and Police Community Support Officer Katrina Murray will be hosting the initiative with Henley Youth Club, from 7pm to 9pm.

PCSO Murray said: "We will be basing this project around the theme of graffiti'.

"The youths will have the opportunity to come up with ideas for this visual work of art which they will then be able to portray on to a large canvas by the use of spray paints.

Sgt Sims said: "This is an ideal opportunity for our neighbourhood team to engage with the youth in the community, helping to break down barriers which may exist between the youth and the police."

"We will also be talking to the youths about the laws around criminal damage and that criminal damage is an offence for which you could be prosecuted. If you are caught causing criminal damage then you could end up with a criminal record and face problems with visa access to other countries.

"We would also like to advise the youths that criminal damage is a pointless act.

"It benefits no one and raises insurance premiums for businesses and families.

"It is unsightly and spoils communities and can have the negative affect of increasing the fear of crime."

"This art evening is to make the youths aware of the consequences of causing criminal damage but also to have fun and come up with some inspirational artwork."