Young people aged 11 to 24 are being asked across Derbyshire what they think about policing so that they can contribute to the work and decisions of Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles and foster better relations between the police and the younger generation.
Ultimately the Commissioner wishes to reduce the number of young entrants into the Criminal Justice System and the surprisingly large number of young people who become victims of crime.
On Thursday, 10 April, at Friesland School in Sandiacre, he will explain his role to a gathering of pupils from schools in Erewash Borough and answer their questions about crime and policing. The students will then take part in workshop sessions to discuss questions as part of his youth consultation programme, and feedback their observations.
Results of the Erewash Youth Forum cyber bullying survey – which is separate from the Commissioner’s consultation programme – are to be announced at the event by Erewash Borough Council’s consultation officer, Ian Marsden. He will also explain the next stage of the wider project. The Youth Forum is a partnership between Erewash Borough Council, Derbyshire County and nine schools and colleges in the Erewash area.
Meanwhile, the roll-out of the Commissioner’s Youth Survey – officially launched earlier this week at The University of Derby – continues across Derbyshire, consulting educational and other organisations that involve the interests of young people across Derbyshire.
Commissioner Charles explained: “What they tell us in the survey will be invaluable and will enable my Youth Summit in September to focus on areas that the police service might improve upon.”
“It’s important to know what our up-and-coming generation think about policing and what their experiences and priorities are. Stereotypical opinions from older people will simply not help us. Understanding young people’s views will help us to build a strong and transparent relationship with them and, in the process, support the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Through our consultations with partners, Derbyshire Constabulary and the general public I recognise that whilst young people are seen by some as being a cause of anti-social behaviour, a disproportionate number are also vulnerable to being victims of crime. Listening to what they say is the most important first step to making relevant changes to policing that will benefit not just young people but everyone in our communities.”
Thousands of young people in schools, colleges and support groups will be invited to take part in the survey which forms part of the Commissioner’s Youth Engagement Plan with events aiming to raise the profile of issues identified by the consultation and survey work. Among the many Youth Engagement Events will be one at Police HQ led by Mr Charles and the Constabulary on 5 June. “The support of our partner agencies, youth agencies, charities youth councils and other local networks will be very important at these events,” the Commissioner said.
“In the coming months, we will be consulting with the Constabulary, partner agencies and Community Safety Partnerships to help identify current education and diversionary activities that support and inform young people. This will also help us to recognise any gaps that need to be filled.”
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Posted on Friday 4th April 2014