Wanted: young people to join Youth Commission on Police & Crime

pcc-willy-bachThe search is on for 30-40 young people living in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland to join the County’s Youth Commission to advise on police and crime issues affecting young people.

Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach says the role helps to shape the way in which policing is delivered, breaking down some of the traditional barriers between the police and young people to help make the relationship one of trust and partnership.

He said

“Young people are a huge part of our community, it’s really important that we listen to their views. Their feedback helps us to understand – and act upon – the things that impact on the relationship between the police and younger members of our community.”

Speaking at the start of Youth Awareness Week, the Commissioner continued:

“We are urging young people aged 14-25, including those who may have direct experience of the police and justice system to apply.

“We want to ensure that the Youth Commission reflects the diversity of the local population as they will be ambassadors to other young people, giving them a voice that will help make a difference to policing and crime where they live.”

Established in 2013, the Youth Commission has undertaken various projects including the ‘Big Conversation’, which saw consultation with more than 1800 young people.

This identified several areas for the Commission’s focus, including knife crime, drug crime and antisocial behaviour.

The Commission was called upon to talk to young people in Countesthorpe earlier this year, following a spike in reports of antisocial behaviour. Their findings have been an important element in seeking a solution.

Explaining a little more about the role Willy Bach said:

“It’s important that we continue to communicate effectively with young people, so that we deliver services in a way that is appropriate for them while reducing crime and antisocial behaviour, to keep everyone in our communities safer.”

He added:

“Being part of the Youth Commission is a two-way street, bringing advantages and benefit to members as well as to policing and our communities. Members will, for example, meet new people, learn from new experiences and gain new skills such as in social research which they will be able to include in their CVs and applications for further or higher education.”

Members will, during 2017, be involved in a raft of activities that include taking part in Youth Commission sessions and working on special topics such as stop and search, tackling anti-social behaviour, and preventing and tackling cyber and drug crime.

They will also be tasked with carrying out research with other young people in schools, colleges, universities and youth groups as well as working in a team to design and plan events to engage with other young people. There will also be opportunities to get involved in community policing events.

The recruitment campaign coincides with Youth Takeover Day 2016, which encourages young people to get involved in decision-making positions and encourages organisations and businesses to hear their views.

Closing date for applications is Friday 25 November, with interviews then held in various locations.

Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 16 December. Unsuccessful applicants will also be informed at this time, and invited to join in as part of the wider research group.

Anyone interested in joining the Youth Commission should visit the website http://www.leics.pcc.police.uk/Take-Part/Youth-Commission/Recruiting-for-2016-2017.aspx

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