Young peo­ple have a say on is­sues af­fect­ing them

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @ByrneChristy

YOUNG peo­ple in Cheshire have high­lighted men­tal health, sex­ual ha­rass­ment, and staying safe on­line as some of the key is­sues af­fect­ing them in a re­port to the county’s po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner.

David Keane has wel­comed the re­port de­vel­oped by Cheshire Youth Com­mis­sion fol­low­ing a con­sul­ta­tion with more than 2,000 young peo­ple across the county to give the po­lice and part­ners a better un­der­stand­ing of key is­sues which af­fect them.

The re­port pro­vides the out­comes and rec­om­men­da­tions on a con­sul­ta­tion de­liv­ered by young peo­ple, re­cruited to be am­bas­sadors for their peers and com­mu­ni­ties, and aims to in­flu­ence key de­ci­sion mak­ers in polic­ing, crim­i­nal jus­tice and be­yond.

The Youth Com­mis­sion, which is de­liv­ered through sup­port from the PCC, also found young peo­ple con­sid­ered drug and al­co­hol mis­use and hav­ing trust in the po­lice force as im­por­tant is­sues to be ad­dressed.

Rec­om­men­da­tions to tackle these is­sues in­clude po­lice hav­ing a more ac­tive role in schools en­abling them to be more open about is­sues with drugs, ed­u­ca­tion es­tab­lish­ments tak­ing a more ac­tive role in talk­ing about sex­ual ha­rass­ment and con­sent with stu­dents and al­lo­cat­ing a PCSO to each school to give young peo­ple a “fa­mil­iar face” in their po­lice ser­vice.

Mr Keane said: “It’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant for young peo­ple to be given the op­por­tu­nity to have a say on key polic­ing is­sues which af­fect their ev­ery­day lives, with more than a quar­ter of res­i­dents in Cheshire un­der the age of 25.

“The Cheshire Youth Com­mis­sion has worked ex­tremely hard over the last year to cap­ture a range of feed­back from our di­verse com­mu­ni­ties which has been used to de­velop their pri­or­i­ties and rec­om­men­da­tions.

“It is now the re­spon­si­bil­ity of all of us in po­si­tions of in­flu­ence to con­sider how we can work to­gether to im­ple­ment these rec­om­men­da­tions.”

Fol­low­ing the success of this year’s project, the com­mis­sioner is look­ing to re­cruit more mem­bers to this year’s Youth Com­mis­sion.

Any­one aged 14-25 who lives, stud­ies or works in Cheshire can ap­ply to be on the Youth Com­mis­sion, giv­ing them the chance to take part in a con­sul­ta­tion to have an en­hanced ad­vi­sory role on polic­ing is­sues.

Mr Keane said: “Join­ing the Youth Com­mis­sion is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for any young per­son in­ter­ested in polic­ing or crim­i­nal jus­tice who wants to make a dif­fer­ence to their com­mu­nity.

“The Youth Com­mis­sion plays a huge role in help­ing me en­gage with young peo­ple, giv­ing up their own time to talk to other young peo­ple about the pri­or­i­ties that mat­ter to them.

“I am sin­cerely grate­ful for their con­tin­ued sup­port,”

Rose Dowling, di­rec­tor at Lead­ers Un­locked who co­or­di­nate the Youth Com­mis­sion in Cheshire, added: “We are de­lighted to of­fer the op­por­tu­nity for more young peo­ple to get in­volved with the Cheshire Youth Com­mis­sion.

“Suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants will be col­lab­o­rat­ing closely with the PCC and con­stab­u­lary to make a real dif­fer­ence to polic­ing and crime in Cheshire.

“We in­tend to se­lect a very di­verse group, in­clud­ing groups that are of­ten over­looked and those with lived ex­pe­ri­ence of the po­lice and jus­tice sys­tems.”

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about ap­ply­ing for the 2018 Youth Com­mis­sion is avail­able on the com­mis­sioner’s web­site.

Dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions is July 20.

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