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Young people asked to have their say on substance misuse

18 January 2022

Are you age 14-25 years old? Have your say on how the police interact with young people in relation to the use of drugs by taking part in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Youth Independent Advisory Group (YIAG) review.

The Strategic Youth Independent Advisory Group was set up to review and challenge policing practices to help make improvements to the service and how the force interacts with young people. The group is made up of 19 volunteers aged 14 to 25 years old.

The YIAG is currently looking at the issue of substance misuse in terms of police practices, such as whether the police should support drugs testing at festivals, if sniffer dogs or increased police visibility are an effective deterrent and police responses to class c drug use.

Whether you have had a positive or negative experience, the YIAG is keen to hear from you. The information will be used to create a report, which will be presented to Hampshire police, alongside suggestions for how their methods can be improved.

Please send any responses for their call for evidence to the YIAG mailbox Information can be submitted in your own words as an individual or organisation, and from personal experiences. However personal identifiers and names should not be included. The deadline for responses is the 28th February 2022. It is important to note this is not a place to report a crime, please call 101 or report online.

Karina Homanko from the YIAG said:

“We have chosen to work on ‘Drugs and Young People’ topic because this is a huge issue in our community, especially universities, which affects a lot of young people.

We believe that this issue should be tackled relating to the responses from the police. We will present our findings surrounding this topic to Hampshire Constabulary as an input to improve the police service to the public”.

Donna Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is so important that the police and I are connected to young people, and that we hear what they think and feel about the issues that matter to them. The way police interact with young people in relation to illegal substances is vital because drugs and alcohol wreak havoc on so many lives, not only in terms of risks to health and the possibility of addiction but in the behaviours that can follow as a result such as theft and violence or being drawn into gangs and county lines.”