Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, has welcomed his Youth Commission’s recommendations on how young people would like the key issues of mental health, hate crime, cyber safety and unhealthy relationships tackled in the future.
Youth Commission members consulted over 4,000 of their peers across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth to identify the most important crime and policing issues for young people and the actions they feel can be taken locally to make improvements.
Mental health came out as the issue of most concern to young people with 55% of those taking part in the big conversation selecting it as their top priority. Staying safe online came second, hate crime third and unhealthy relationships fourth.
At the conference the Youth Commission put 18 recommendations to the Commissioner, Hampshire Constabulary and partner agencies that work with young people. The recommendations set out how young people would like to see organisations work together to make improvements in the support, information, services and advice that is available for young people.
The recommendations include:
Mental Health: Providing a drop-in service for young people in high streets, or home visits with other young people who have been through the experience (self-lived), where they could chat about things that worried them and where they can get to know the people running the service.
Cyber Safety: Educate children and young people so they are aware of the laws and regulations that surround usage of online platforms, this should include simpler and clearer terms and conditions, information on their rights when dealing with an issue and the consequences of violating them.
Hate Crime: There needs to be proactive long-term programmes for people who commit hate crimes. Those young people who have displayed criminal behaviour due to hate should volunteer within their community and emerge themselves in a diverse environment, in addition to attending a restorative session with their victim and any out of court disposals.
Unhealthy relationships: Teachers need to be educated on how to spot the signs of an unhealthy relationship in young people, as well as some police officers, in how to correctly handle an unhealthy relationship related situation.
Michael Lane said: “The conversations that have been undertaken by members really hear and connect to the voice of their peers. I pay close attention to the recommendations of the Youth Commission because the points raised represent the concerns and ideas of young people and therefore need to play an important role in informing the work of my team and wider partners.”
Youth Commission member, Sophie Robinson, 23 said: I joined the Youth Commission to give a voice to young people within the local community; aiming to make a real difference to the lives of local people. Being a part of the Youth Commission gives me a platform to represent young people and to inform professionals to instigate real change, through engagement and opportunities.
Youth Commission member, Vicky Kendall-Weiss, 15, said: After a year being a member of the Youth Commission, I can truly say it is one of the most worthwhile opportunities I have ever partaken in and I enjoy every event I do. Youth Commission isn’t just something to say in interviews or a hobby on your CV, (even though it is good to drop into conversation once in a while!) it is an opportunity to have a voice in real issues affecting you and your peers’ lives. It is a chance to identify, create and educate things that matter to you and that will matter to others.
To view the full findings of the big conversation and all the Youth Commission Recommendations please find the Recommendation Report 2017-2018 at www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/youthcommission