Cheshire Police Authority and Constabulary held a consultation event for their joint Children and Young People's Speak Out Group in July.
Moira Chapman, the Authority’s lead Member for children and young people said, “it is vitally important that we listen and act upon the views of children and young people. Unfortunately, young people are often victims or witnesses of crime and all too often offenders. Whether we are trying to ensure that keep them safe or prevent them fro re-offending, the ways in which we involve and treat them now will affect the way policing is delivered long into the future. Therefore, I was delighted to see so many enthusiastic and committed young people who had volunteered to become members of the Speak Out Panel and tell us what they think about policing in Cheshire.”
The young people, who came from a broad range of socio-demographic areas were consulted about policing services and their priorities for policing from a young person's perspective.
Their top priorities for the police were to:-
· Listen to the views of children and young people when forming new policy and working practices and consult with children and young people, their families and the community.
· Make sure the police know if someone is in danger or vulnerable and protect them.
· Make sure that everyone who works for Cheshire police knows that protecting children is a very important part of everything the police do.
· Help young people who are at the highest risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or crime.
· Make sure that there is support in place for children and young people who are likely to get into trouble to stop them getting involved in crime, or becoming victims.
· Work with victims and offenders to get them to talk to each other about crimes that have taken place, so both understand why the criminal did what they did and how much it upset the victim. By learning about this and where crime are committed, the police can get to children before they get involved in crime.
Moira Chapman added, “now that we have heard what is important to young people, the next stage is to use what they said in our decision making processes and in the actions that the Constabulary takes. I am looking forwards to working with the young people again in the future.”