TROUBLESOME teenage thugs are being offered a free military style bootcamp to help them become better members of society.
And if they disobey their burly instructor, their punishment will be EXERCISE, in the form of sit-ups, push-ups or running on the spot.
Nobody is allowed to leave the room and mobile phones or other gadgets are completely banned.
The radical-style life skills courses start this weekend and are open to thousands of under 16 year olds from all over the city.
They are the brainchild of former Newport Pagnell martial arts instructor Gary Payne, who is a behaviour modification expert for the Young People are Our Future charity.
Gary has worked in London with MAMAA – Mothers Against Murder and Aggression – and is particularly concerned about the surge of knife crime among young teenagers.
His research led him to meet the father of stabbing victim Damiola Taylor and the sister of Ben Kinsella.
He has already tried out his short, sharp shock methods in schools all over London, where he was given groups of 25 young troublemakers at a time.
“Unlike many of the conventional methods of teaching these young people, I took the decision to make the life skills education more akin to a military bootcamp with simple rules and direct consequences.
“There are just three rules: Nobody leaves the course, bad behaviour means exercises, which I do alongside them, and no mobile phones.”
Surprisingly, some 66 per cent of the youngsters respond, and go on to learn about the affects of anti-social behaviour, the destructive and the positive qualities of their personalities, physical team building and problem solving skills.
Many go away with a positive life plan and positive goals for the future, said Gary.
His courses are also designed to help better-behaved children, who are shown how to build their self esteem, avoid being bullied and increase their personal safety.
“This project will positively benefit thousands of young people and help them become better members of the community,” said Gary.
The two-hour courses start this Sunday at Tattenhoe Pavilion and will be held at venues all over the city over the next 10 months.
Local parish councils have pledged support, while city-based Home Retail and John Lewis have donated thousands of pounds worth of furnishings and equipment to make the venues comfortable.
For more information or to book a free place visit www.youngpeopleareourfuture,org.