Young people from Cheshire have presented their findings from a consultation with more than 2,000 of their peers to give the police and partners a better understanding of key issues which affect them.
It’s part of the work of Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Commission, which gives young people in Cheshire the ability to influence key decision makers in policing, criminal justice and beyond.
Over the last 12 months, members of Youth Commission have spoken to thousands of young people across the county about key issues which affect them as part of their ‘big conversation’.
The Youth Commission identified a set of priorities which they thought were important to talk to young people about including; mental health and policing, sexual harassment and consent, social media and staying safe online, stereotyping and trust in the police, and drug and alcohol use and abuse.
They gathered the views of their peers on these topics and presented their findings at their annual conference - which was attended by more than 80 representatives from key organisations in Cheshire, including Cheshire’s acting chief constable and police and crime commissioner.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “With more than a quarter of Cheshire residents under the age of 25, I supported the Youth Commission because I wanted young people to have a voice and be heard.
“Over the last two years, we’ve managed to recruit 56 ambassadors to the Youth Commission from a variety of backgrounds and different areas across Cheshire.
“They have worked incredibly hard to capture important feedback from their peers on issues which matter to them and the members did a tremendous job in presenting their findings to a room full of local police service leaders and key partners at the conference.
“I look forward to receiving a final report which details the outcomes of the consultation and I promise to work with the young people to take forward the recommendations to improve how the police deal with these important issues.”
Social enterprise, Leaders Unlocked, coordinate the Youth Commission in Cheshire with funding provided by the commissioner. Ali Roberts, programme coordinator of Leaders Unlocked in Cheshire, added: “Cheshire Youth Commission provides a fantastic opportunity for young people across the county from a variety of backgrounds to have peer to peer conversations, giving a voice to those who may not usually have that opportunity.
“It’s been a brilliant journey for all of the members involved and the conference was an inspiring event, showcasing all of the hard work and dedication of the Youth Commission.
“It was great to see so many partners attend the conference to listen to the findings of the research, and we thank PCC David Keane and the constabulary for their continued support and passion for the Youth Commission.”
Youth Commission member, Shoni Rae, commented: “My experiences of the Cheshire Youth commission have been amazing. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the commission, from the meetings to being able to go out and actually speak to members of the public.
“The conference was a brilliant opportunity to talk to senior members of organisations from across Cheshire that will hopefully greatly benefit from our work at the Youth Commission, and it enabled me to gain skills such as public speaking to large audiences.
“The Cheshire Youth Commission gives young people in Cheshire a voice that can be heard in regards to important issues that affect our lives on a daily basis.”