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Commissioner's Youth Summit to draw on young people's views to help shape policing services in Derbyshire

The views of young people on how policing can serve Derbyshire to best effect will play a major role at a Youth Summit organised by Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles next Wednesday (24 September).

Some significant findings from the Commissioner’s Youth Survey and youth engagement consultations will be discussed during the conference in South Normanton, demonstrating the very different concerns that younger people have about crime compared to all-embracing age groups. 

An overview of the results will be delivered at the Summit, which will be attended by young delegates from the county’s youth organisations and UK Youth Parliament. Their opinions on policing will be aired along with those of representatives from Derbyshire Constabulary’s many partners who work together to promote safety and reduce crime.

The Commissioner said: “Since April this year several thousand young people aged 11-24 across Derbyshire have responded to my Youth Survey and consultations, telling me what they think about policing and what their experiences are. What we learned from them will be invaluable as we bring the generations together to examine the work being done to improve policing – and ensure that our young people are able to influence relevant changes benefiting everyone.

“Giving them the opportunity to help shape decisions about policing will, I am convinced, not only help to reduce the number of young entrants into the Criminal Justice System but also the large number of youngsters who become victims of crime.”

The Summit’s speakers and discussion leaders will include head teachers from secondary schools, top police officers and council leaders, the heads of the Youth Offending Service and Community Safety, and members of the Commissioner’s Office.

Commissioner Charles, who will talk about youth engagement and the importance of this to the work he does, went on: “This promises to be a fruitful day with partners sharing their expertise and concerns along with updates on successful interventions and benefits of working together.”

Topics will include pre-court work and the benefits of reducing first-time entrants into the criminal justice system, cyber safety and child sexual exploitation.

“We also have six discussion groups lined up during the day, led by experts from different fields showing how we can improve crime prevention, protection and support, and reduce the number of offenders through education and diversion,” Mr Charles said. Questions put up for discussion will invite exploration of issues such as the risks young people face, the needs of the most vulnerable, and expanding the police cadets across Derbyshire.

The Commissioner was particularly interested to note from the results of the Youth Survey some marked differences in priorities held by young people compared to those chosen by wider age groups taking part in the regular Over To You surveys.

“Child sex exploitation, gangs, stalking, harassment and online bullying were all more than twice as likely to be mentioned as a priority to 16-24 year-olds within the Youth Survey than in the Over To You consultations,” he revealed.

“It was also noticeable that nearly a quarter of 16-17 year olds, as opposed to 13% of under 13s, felt the police could do more to communicate key prevention information and educational messages to young people – a figure that rose to more than one-third of participants aged 18-24”.

Other results, including responses to questions about how younger people would report a crime, are as follows:

  • 83% in the consultations did not mention 101 as a means to report a crime.
  • For those aged 16-24, according to the Survey, the phone would be a key means of reporting crime (twice that of those aged 15 and under). However, from the consultations, 90% of those interviewed would not know how to do so online or through texting.
  • 5% of under-13s said they would prefer to report online as opposed to 9.3% of 16-17 year olds and 14.8% of 18-24 year olds.
  • According to the survey, respondents aged 16-17 and 18-24 would be half as likely to report a crime to a responsible adult or family member compared to those aged 15 and under.

“Statistics like these clearly underline the crimes and related issues that are of greater concern to young people, and how the different age groups would prefer to report a crime,” the Commissioner pointed out. “These are important matters and we owe it to our young people to consider very carefully what they have told us in order to create a safer society.”

Ends

Note to Editors: There were nearly 200 young people aged 11-24 interviewed and a further 3,270 surveyed.

 

Media Enquiries:   Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Monday 22nd September 2014
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