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New Priorities for Youth Commission

15 December 2021

Staying safe on the streets, hate and hostility, and substance misuse are the three issues that the Police and Crime Commissioner’s new Youth Commission members have selected as top concerns to consult their peers on over the coming year.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, joined her 23 new Youth Commission members at their first meeting where they discussed the police and crime related issues that are causing most concern for young people. The Youth Commission members then chose three of these issues to consult young people aged 14-25 on through their Big Conversation.

Donna Jones said: “It was great to meet the new members of my Youth Commission. They all have different motivations for joining, some want a career in policing or criminal justice, others have personal experiences that are driving them and some want to give back to the communities they live in, but all showed great enthusiasm and determination to make a real difference.

“The issues they have selected have a huge impact on the lives of young people and are all areas I am concerned about as Police and Crime Commissioner.

“The Government’s new drugs strategy and the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy firmly place these as national priorities too.”

Youth Commission member, Francesca, 20, from Winchester said: “I chose to focus on substance abuse because it’s still an ongoing issue that affects many people, most importantly young adults and children. It isn’t something that is necessarily discussed with young people and that in itself is the main issue that we need to tackle.”

“I wanted to focus on hate and hostility as I believe it’s something that can easily go unnoticed or not dealt with properly. It may also be something that young people are unaware of, so I want to help educate them in treating everyone fairly.” Youth Commission member, Tia Peace, 22, Portsmouth.

“Given recent events, we felt it would be appropriate to focus on people’s safety when out, be it walking home from school or on a night out. All too often young people, especially girls, experience harassment, abuse, or assault when all they are trying to do is get from A to B.” Amber Manning, 21, Basingstoke

The Youth Commission’s Big Conversation will launch in the New Year. Ideas from previous Big Conversations have led to successful initiatives such as the Basingstoke Peace Project to raise awareness of the consequences of knife crime, the Cyber Ambassadors’ online safety educational programme and the award winning unhealthy relationships campaign ‘Raise a Flag’.