POLICE should work more closely with hospitality venues across Cleveland, according to a Police and Crime Commissioner-funded youth group.
Cleveland Youth Commission (CYC) thinks there should be an increased police presence in the night-time economy. That’s to make sure everyone stays safe on a night out.
CYC Members also think that Cleveland Police should work more closely with venues to raise awareness on how to prevent spiking.
The recommendations are just two of those made as part of Cleveland Youth Commission’s final report to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC.) The report is published today on Cleveland OPCC website. (Monday 9 May 2022.)
The report rounded off a year in which youth commission members worked on a range of the community safety issues, which mattered most to young people. Young people’s priorities for a safer Cleveland were identified as:
- Mental Health
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse & Gang Crime
- Abusive Relationships
- Hate and Online Crime
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- Young people’s Relationships with the Police
The report makes a number of recommendations for action to improve community safety. They include the following:
- Joint work to raise awareness of County Lines as well as the dangers of drugs and gangs. CYC members also want Cleveland Police and OPCC to promote how and where young people can go to get out of gangs after they become involved.
- Raising awareness among their peers of the harms caused by grooming and online abuse.
- Increased promotion of stories showing successful hate crime convictions and positive sentence uplifts. CYC Members feel this will raise confidence and encourage the public to report incidents.
- Promotion of restorative justice as both a punishment for and positive solution to antisocial behaviour throughout Cleveland
- Joint work with Cleveland OPCC and its partners to raise awareness of Stop and Search rights and policing procedures. CYC members felt that this would help to raise public confidence in the police.
- A campaign by the CYC to promote men’s mental health as well as lesser known mental health conditions.
For the past two years, Cleveland PCC has funded not-for-profit Leaders Unlocked to deliver CYC.
During that time, CYC members have spoken to more than 2,600 young people in Cleveland.
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner said: “When I was elected as PCC, I wanted to ensure I listened to all of Cleveland’s communities. I wanted to take in opinions from people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.
“A really important part of that understanding is what the next generation want to see done about crime and community safety issues. In just a few short years, these young people will be taking bigger steps in their lives and should have confidence to do so without fear of crime or other issues.
“The Youth Commission are such an inspiring, diverse group of young people. They have a passion for making a difference in their communities.
“The vast consultation they’ve conducted gives leaders like me a priceless insight into what issues young people in Cleveland are concerned about – and what they think we should do to tackle them. “
CYC member Catrina Wardman said: “My experience with the Youth Commission on Police and Crime has allowed me to open my eyes to the social problems that surround young people in my community.
“I have also learned how my voice can make a big difference for young people who think their voice is going unheard or that their issues and problems are not relevant enough for the adults in charge to do anything about.”
You can read CYC’s full report for 2021-22 here.