Sir Clive Loader, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Leicestershire, is leading the way on a new initiative to involve young people in finding solutions to crime.
Leicestershire is the first area to sign up to a‘Youth Commission’ pilot project in which the Commissioner will work in partnership with young people in a ‘Big Conversation’ to develop strategies to address urgent issues in their areas, including offending and re-offending, hate crime, and drug crime. Other PCCs are expected to confirm their commitment shortly.
Sir Clive believes that listening to young people and then involving them in forming a solution is vital to repair the often difficult relationship between young people and the police.
Between July and October, the ‘Big Conversation’ will ask 2,000 young people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland for their views on what needs to be done to tackle crime and improve policing.
Under the guidance of a voluntary youth advisory group the project will form an on-going dialogue with Sir Clive aimed at supporting,challenging and informing his work. The final results will be published at the end of the year.
Sir Clive is working with a charity, the SHM Foundation, to deliver the project. Rose Dowling from SHM, which is using its experience to help PCCs and young people to work together, said:
“We are developing a model for a way of working which can be replicated in other places. PCCs are keen to learn from young people and be challenged by them.Young people want to be heard. We will help that happen.”
With training and support from the SHM Foundation, the new Youth Commission will be made up of a diverse cross-section of 14-25 year olds from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Although they will be working within necessary guidelines designed to protect young people, each group will help to decide the shape of their own ‘Big Conversation’ and what issues they examine.
Sir Clive said:
“I am thrilled to be working with the SHM Foundation on this pioneering project. It’s important to remember that young people can play a very important part in crime prevention and early intervention is particularly crucial in preventing the waste of young lives. I am very keen to hear their thoughts on how the police and I can work better with young people to reduce crime and make our communities safer for everyone.”
To read more about the work that the SHM Foundation has been doing with young people and PCCs please go to www.forceforward.co.uk and www.shmfoundation.org.
For more information please contact Rose Dowling at the SHM Foundation on 020 7242 5504 or the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire on 0116 229 8980.
Posted on Monday 9th May 2016