Norfolk’s Youth Commission continues to be ‘voice of young people’ in the county
The Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Commission have had an eventful 2019 so far touring the county and continuing to have their say on how to shape policing.
The Commission has been taking part in events and training projects in a bid to ensure what matters most to young people is reflected in the work carried out by Norfolk Constabulary.
Members have visited both Great Yarmouth and Wymondham Police Investigation Centres (PICs) to see first-hand the inner-workings of police custody suites, met with the Constabulary’s dog section to see how the Force’s four-legged friends help in the fight against crime and assisted officers at the Sundown music festival over the summer.
They have been also been involved in a variety of training sessions including substance misuse, safeguarding and domestic abuse training as well as working with youth organisations across Norfolk including the Youth Parliament and Norfolk Youth Advisory Boards (YAB).
A small number of the YC also met with the St Giles Trust who are running the SOS+ Project across Norfolk, working with children and young people at risk of criminal exploitation or involvement in gang activity.
Praising the work of the Commission, Lorne said: “I would like to thank all members of the Youth Commission for the hard work and commitment they continue to show in helping shape policing in the county.
“These are a team of young people who freely give up their spare time to ensure the voice of their peers’ continues to be heard and for that they should be commended.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to influence policing where they live, it is essential that the voices of youth be heard.”
Temporary Inspector Kerry Woodbine, of Norfolk Constabulary, who witnessed the work of the Youth Commission alongside Police Cadets at the Sundown festival, said: “It’s always refreshing to see young people come together to do something positive for the local community and their peers in particular. Helping at events such as the Sundown Festival and the beach clean-up gives them the chance to develop skills and make new friends.”
The Commission, which started in May 2017, enables young people aged 13-25 years to support, challenge and inform the work of the county’s PCC and in turn Norfolk Constabulary.
Members are also in the process of creating a new YC Facebook page in a bid to promote the work of the Commission to young people even further.
Since the release of their ‘Big Conversation’ report in April 2018 which identified six key priority area including; Journeys through the Justice System, Relationships with the Police, Mental Health, Abusive Relationships, Substance Misuse and Peer Pressure & Social Media, the Commission has grown from strength to strength.
The members have also supported the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPPCN) by attending district Question and Answer sessions hosted by the PCC.
By sharing their views and experiences of crime, policing and criminal justice system, the Commission seeks to ensure local decision-makers not only understand young people’s needs but are also working to meet them.
Norfolk PCC’s YC was the eighth to be set up in the country with Commissions already established in Sussex, Hampshire, North Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire.
You can read the original findings of the Norfolk PCC Youth Commission here.
Any young person interested in joining the Youth Commission can contact Jacqui Starling at Lola Stafford Consulting via Jacqui@lolastaffordconsulting.co.uk.