Cheshire Police Authority has praised the role Police Community Support Officers play in preventing summertime crime and disorder.
Many Police Community Support Officers help to organise sports events and other activities for children and teenagers.
Speaking at a meeting of the Police Authority′s Engagement Committee, the Committee Chairman, Moira Chapman, said the activities were an important factor in motivating young people and steering them away from potential problems.
"We don′t want to suggest that young people who are left to their own devices during the summer holidays would automatically cause trouble, but some good, positive, healthy activities keep them happy and make sure they don′t drift towards anything negative and destructive," she said.
Michael Darby, a member of the committee, provided what he described as a typical example of the action being instituted by Police Community Support Officers.
He said, "Four PCSOs in Northwich obtained sports equipment from Sport Cheshire. They turn up on the estates; simply take the goal posts, or whatever equipment is to be used, out of a bag and provide instant sports events for local young people.
"That sort of action has really positive effects. It provides something for the youngsters to do and the long-term benefit is that the children and teenagers look on the police as people who are there to help and advise; not as the enemy."
Moira Chapman added, "This is part of a change we have seen since Police Community Support Officers were introduced nine years ago.
This approach is resulting in a different type of respect for the work the Constabulary does. From a situation where police officers and staff were seen as being detached and remote, they are now regarded as being totally involved in local communities; part of people′s everyday lives."