Police ‘stop and search’ powers and the relationship between young people and the Force should be top of the priority list, according to the county’s youth.
The action areas were identified by Nottinghamshire’s new Youth Commissioners who met for the first time on Saturday (10th October).
The project has been developed by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping in conjunction with social enterprise firm Leaders Unlocked to give young people a bigger voice in policing.
A total of 25 young people have been selected to sit on the Commission and the final panel includes ex-offenders, victims and witnesses of crime, university students, youth workers, journalists, cadets and aspiring police officers. The Commission also has representation from a wide geographical area and incorporates 16 different postal sectors including Newark, Mansfield, Arnold, Bassetlaw and Retford.
Commissioner Tipping delivered a welcome speech at Saturday’s meeting which was designed to enable panel members to get to know one another. One of the main tasks of the session was for the panel to set the priorities they wanted to tackle during their time on the Commission.
After much deliberation, the group set stop and search powers and relations with the police as their top priority followed by the rehabilitation of young offenders, the link between deprivation and crime, the night-time economy and lastly, prevention and education.
Commenting on the event, Commissioner Tipping said: “It was pleasing to see the Commission finally take shape after many months of work and see for myself just how enthusiastic the panel members are about protecting young people and their rights.
“The initial discussions were both intelligent and productive and I’ve no doubt that the panel will play a valuable role in future decision-making as well as achieve our objective to give young people a bigger say in how their county is policed.”
Rose Dowling, director of Leaders Unlocked, added: “It was incredible to see the diversity of the Youth Commissioners and the way that they worked together across the usual divides of age, class, background, and culture. They formed a brilliant connection with each other and with the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“They arrived at five really strong priorities which they will take forward over the next five months through their 'Big Conversation' with 1,000 other young people across the city and the county.”
The Youth Commissioners are all aged between 14 and 25 and will be tasked with developing strategies to address urgent community safety issues such as re-offending, strengthening links between police and the public, reducing crime and tackling antisocial behaviour.
Youth Commission member Katherine, 15, from Mansfield said: “I want to have a voice and be able to change the community. I want to be a police officer and being here enables me to have experience and change things for the future.”
Panel member Maigan, 18, from Blidworth, added: “I joined the Youth Commission to make a different within drug and alcohol issues. I'm on the team which is looking at the night-time economy and I'm looking forward to seeing how we can make a difference.”
Members of the Commission will meet three more times between now and January and will also be invited to provide direct input into the Force.
Members of the media who wish to interview a panel member should contact Rose Dowling, Leaders Unlocked director, on 07775 778801 or email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Wednesday 14th October 2015