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Strategic Youth Independent Advisory Group

The Strategic Youth Independent Advisory Group (YIAG) is a voluntary group made up of young people who are independent from the police. It meets six times a year, to review and challenge policing practices in a constructive way. This helps improve the police service to the public.

 

This is a volunteer group for those aged 14 to 25 which enables you to be involved in reviewing, challenging and scrutinising the police. You don’t need any qualifications or experience, we just ask that you help by providing your opinions and insight.

As a YIAG member, you will represent yourself and the views of your community. So we ask you to consult with others and will help to arrange some sessions for you, but you will need to undertake your own consultation too.

You’ll present the findings directly to senior police officers. The police will take on board your findings but can’t always act on all your suggestions, however they value your ideas and comments and are keen to hear from as many young people as possible.

The Strategic Youth IAG is for those living or working in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

We pay your travel expenses, provide you with training and opportunities to develop your skills, the chance to represent your, and others’, views and opinions, and give you an insight into policing, investigations and work with the local community.

If you have any questions please email youthiag@hampshire.police.uk.

Our focus

We are supporting a new youth-led survey, which aims to gather the views of thousands of young people on policing and police complaints.

The survey, which launched on Wednesday 11 May, has been designed and developed by members of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) Youth Panel.

The survey aims to:

  • Understand young people’s lived experiences of policing
  • Examine trust in policing and police complaints
  • Look into local differences across England and Wales
  • Involve young people in developing future solutions

The survey is open to young people aged 13-25 years across England and Wales. Young people can take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2CRQKK5

The survey deadline is 17 June. The survey’s results will be published later this year. They will be used to create national recommendations for change, and will be shared with policing stakeholders, locally and nationally.

We would be grateful for your support in sharing this survey with young people. Young people’s views are really important to us, and we especially want to hear from those who might not otherwise have their voices heard.

More information

Role description

We have an exciting opportunity to join our Youth Independent Advisory Group across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. We are looking for people aged 14-25 years old from a range of diverse backgrounds to discuss in a safe environment their views and experiences of policing

Your role will include speaking with friends and others aged 10-25, the opportunity to scrutinise areas of policing, to contribute to strategic planning and work towards increasing trust and confidence between young people and the police.

What do I get out of it?

  • A chance to influence policing decisions
  • Make a difference for young people
  • Gain experience in policing matters
  • Learn new skills
  • Get training
  • Your expenses covered
  • Make friends

For more information email youthiag@hampshire.police.uk

What's the commitment?

  • One year, but could be longer if you wish
  • 6 meetings per year, plus consultation in your community
  • Present findings to police boards, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Youth Commission

Our work on Violence Against Women

The first topic that the YIAG survey their peers on was Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

94 participants;

  • 47% aged 18-24, 32% aged 13-17, everyone else was 25+ years old
  • Majority of participants from Portsmouth and Southampton
  • 86% were female
  • 84% were white British.

Key Findings:

  • The majority (55%) said they would report a sexual assault to the police
  • Reasons for not reporting: nothing will be done, won’t be believed, there won’t be enough evidence
  • 43% said they don’t know if police respond well to sexual assault allegations (42%) said no
  • Reasons for beliefs that police don’t respond well: they don’t take it seriously, had reported their own assaults and nothing happened or it was handled badly, inconsistencies with how cases are dealt with
  • How police could handle sexual assault allegations better: provide more information and resources on reporting, prioritising victim support
  • 66% of people didn’t know the process after an assault is reported (14% said I don’t know)
  • 69% don’t think educational institutions handle sexual assault allegations well (5% said yes).

YIAG recommendations:

  • Provide information to schools/universities and in the community about the process of reporting a crime and what will happen after reporting. Could also have a clear part within the police websites
  • Police to put out posters/messages on social media and in the community communicating that they do want to support victims and what support there is available during and after reporting a crime
  • If necessary, police to increase their victim support or re-assess its effectiveness to support individuals
  • There may be a need for training on how to best deal with reports of violence against women and girls, whether the training is done after regular periods of time or just needs updating
  • Children might benefit from police talks/workshops in schools where they can talk to police officers in a casual environment to improve relationships and trust
  • If there are reports that can’t go further due to lack of evidence or other reasons, the individual should still be guided to support services.

These findings were presented to Hampshire Constabulary’s legitimacy board in December 2021.

Our work on drugs, young people and the police

318 participants answered the survey.

Key findings:

  • 54% of participants disagreed/strongly disagreed that the police respond well to drug related crimes
  • 56% thought that the use of sniffer dogs was an effective deterrent to carrying drugs
  • 55% disagreed/strongly disagreed that more police visibility would stop people doing drugs
  • 62% strongly agreed/agreed that young people were victimised in Stop and Search
  • 64% felt that some ethnic groups are disproportionately targeted by police for doing drugs
  • 30% thought that police giving out drug test normalises drug use
  • 97% believe that cannabis use was normalised amongst young people, with 48% saying nitrous oxide was also normalised.

YIAG recommendations:

  • Intervene early, start educating kids young. It’s easier to prevent addiction then stop it
  • Use social media to show examples of stop and search on people from all backgrounds and if any training is done to help even out stop and search statistics, publish it to the public so they are aware of the efforts
  • Drug awareness for parents
  • Proof of random searches
  • Talks from previous drug users
  • Listen to complaints

These findings will presented to Hampshire Constabulary’s legitimacy board in August 2022.

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