Sgt Brian Rooney, Joshua, George, Barry Coppinger, Ben, PC Geoff Coggin - at Hartlepool Police Station
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, demonstrated his commitment to listening to the views of young people across Cleveland by letting three youngsters ‘take over’ his role for the day.
Ben Rutherford, George Richardson, and Joshua Scott, all aged 15 and from Hartlepool, spent the day shadowing the Commissioner as part of the national ’11 Million Takeover Day’ which gives young people from across the country the opportunity to come into work places and better understand how they can influence decision making and make a difference within their communities.
One of the Commissioner’s key commitments is to divert people from offending, and prevent re-offending, and work being undertaken in this area has a strong focus on diverting first time young offenders from entering into the criminal justice system.
The Commissioner and the young people visited Hartlepool custody to gain an insight into the triage process which involves giving support to young people who have been arrested to try and ensure that they do not reoffend.
Barry Coppinger said: "Through my "Your Force Your Voice" initiative I have pledged to listen to communities across all of Cleveland’s 82 wards and ensure that their views are reflected in the strategic decisions that I make around policing, and hearing the opinions and concerns of young people is an important part of this process.
"All too often the views of young people can be disregarded, when often they have the most innovative ideas for tackling issues. I have met with many young people throughout my term of office, ranging from Primary School Councils, to Police Cadets and young offenders undertaking reparation activities, and I have always been impressed by their commitment to contribute positively to their local community.
"Young people across Cleveland should have a voice and events such as 11 Million Takeover Day help our younger population to achieve this."
Val Marley from Hartlepool Youth Offending Service added: "The triage programme has been very beneficial and given young people the opportunity to engage with services much earlier to address their current needs and any problems they may have. The programme allows young people to receive the support they need to prevent them from re-offending without criminalising them and adversely affecting their life chances for what may have been a one off incident that was out of character."
Posted on Monday 24th November 2014