The newly-formed Cleveland Youth Commission will seek the views of young people living in Cleveland on policing, crime and community safety issues.
The Cleveland Youth Commission met virtually for the first time on Saturday 12 September and identified five key priorities they considered to be of most importance to young people in Cleveland:
- Mental health
- Drug and alcohol issues
- Relationship between young people and police
- Hate crime and online crime
- Youth activities and preventing re-offending
The Commission was set up by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), with the support of engagement experts Leaders Unlocked, to better understand the views of young people on crime and policing.
It includes 28 young people between the ages of 14 and 25 years old – from all four of Cleveland’s boroughs, Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.
The group will gather the views of other young people across Cleveland, before developing a report summarising their findings and presenting it to local leaders, including Acting Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Oldroyd.
15-year-old Manal, of Hartlepool, said: “The meeting was amazing to be a part of and I found it lovely meeting everyone else.
“I also loved hearing other ideas of how to improve our system. Hearing so many share the same thoughts was really interesting for me.”
17-year-old Nieve, of Stockton, said: “I really enjoyed my experience of the first meeting.
“The thing I enjoyed the most was that everyone listened to one another and helped to develop various arguments as to why certain issues are seen to be more of an issue than others.”
Sarah Wilson, Commissioner’s Officer for Consultation and Engagement said: “Young people are our future citizens, which is why it’s so important we take their views into account when developing initiatives to improve community safety.
“I look forward to seeing how the Youth Commission will work to address the topics they have chosen to prioritise for the coming year.”
Kaytea Budd-Brophy, Senior Manager at Leaders Unlocked, said: “Cleveland Youth Commission members are passionate to bring about real change in Cleveland and are keen to talk to young people across the region to get their voice heard.
“They reflect the diverse communities and the Commission provides a platform for young people in Cleveland to influence policing and crime prevention in their area.
“This is a peer-led research project where members talk to others about their views, experience or perceptions of the key priorities, which effect their lives and discuss what tangible solutions can be made.
“I’m proud to be working with such a committed group of young people on this project.”
Posted on Wednesday 7th October 2020