The Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Commission has launched its Big Conversation 2020 asking young people for their views on topical crime and policing issues.
This year the focus of the Big Conversation is on hate crime, the exploitation of young people, for example through grooming and county lines, and serious violence, such as knife crime.
Maddie Davis, age 19, from Gosport said: Having hate crime as a priority is important to me because I personally have been the victim of LGBTQ+ and disability related hate incidents/crimes and understand the devastating impact that it can have on a person’s mental wellbeing.”
Owen Castelli, age 15, from Kingsclere said: “Exploitation comes in many forms, from criminal exploitation in the form of county lines to child sexual exploitation. I have chosen this priority because the UK has seen a significant spike in the number of cases of child criminal exploitation in the form of county lines.”
Ashley Payne, age 17, from Winchester said: “I joined the Youth Commission to help my community. I chose the serious violence group due to knife crime being at its highest for a decade.”
The Youth Commission acts as the voice of young people, informing and supporting Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, in his work and helping him to challenge the Chief Constable on areas that are of importance to young people.
Each year Youth Commission members consult with young people on police and crime issues and seek ideas on how these can be tackled. They also work to raise awareness and educate young people on their chosen priorities via campaigns. They run workshops, speak at events and take part in a range of other activities.
During 2019 the focus of the Big Conversation was substance misuse, unhealthy relationships and anti-social behaviour. Over 2,600 young people gave their views and shared thoughts on the actions they felt should be taken locally to make improvements. The Youth Commission presented recommendations based on last year’s consultation results to the Commissioner, Hampshire Constabulary and partner agencies that work with young people at their annual conference in November.