14 August, 2018

Youth Commission gives voice to young people’s concerns

The North Yorkshire Youth Commission has delivered a major report to the Police and Crime Commissioner on young people’s views of policing and crime.

Set up by Julia Mulligan in 2015 to ensure the voice of young people is taken seriously, the Youth Commission is made up of 49 members from every part of the county and every background.

It aims to support, challenge and inform the work of North Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner and achieves this by engaging with other young people, identifying their priorities and then creating a set of recommendations.

This final report is based on over 3,300 conversations with young people across North Yorkshire during 2017-18. 2,708 of these conversations were conducted face-to-face, and a further 654 responses were captured using an online quantitative survey.

The priority issues identified and explored during the Youth Commission’s work are:

  • Mental Health & Vulnerable Young People
  • Abusive Relationships
  • Hate Crime
  • The Relationship between Young People, Police & Authorities
  • Drug & Alcohol Abuse
  • Missing Young People & Exploitation

The report is structured into six key sections that outline what the North Yorkshire Youth Commission has found about each of these priority issues.

It discovered that supporting mental health issues and vulnerable young people was the most important priority (45 per cent saying it was their number one issue) and among the recommendations made on this are:

  • Police officer training on the effects of mental health for young people should be increased.
  • The online support available for young people in rural areas or when dealing with long waiting lists should be promoted.
  • Everyone should promote the 101 number, and let people know this can be used for mental health crises.

Each section features comprehensive analysis of young people’s responses, verbatim quotes from individual participants, and the key recommendations that have been put forward by the Youth Commission as a result of their findings.

All the recommendations can be found at www.northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/youthcommissionreport

The next stage of the Youth Commission’s work is to spend two years making sure the recommendations are implemented and that changes are embedded within organisations and partners for the future.

Kaytea Budd-Brophy, Project Manager for the Youth Commission, said:

“This report is intended to act as an honest, independent record of what young people have told the Commission through this ‘Big Conversation’ process. It is also intended to be a basis for further action on the part of the Police and Crime Commissioner, North Yorkshire Police and relevant partner agencies.

It is a comprehensive and impressive piece of work that sets out the priorities of young people from across the county and we now look forward to working in partnership with North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, North Yorkshire Police and partner agencies over the next two years to consider and implement the recommendations that have been made.”

A representative from the Youth Commission was recently part of the Question Time panel as part of the interview process for the new Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police.

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, says this demonstrates the importance of the Youth Commission and commitment to listen to young peoples’ views:

“I instigated the Youth Commission because it was clear the views of children and young people were not being heard as they should be when decisions were made about policing and crime. That had to change and by ensuring young people across North Yorkshire had a voice, we are making progress to achieve that.

“This report from the Youth Commission is a comprehensive, well-researched and astute analysis of the priorities for young people and provides some clear steps for me, North Yorkshire Police and other partners to take. I want to thank everyone involved for their impressive work and to the Youth Commissioners who invest their time to help other young people.

“I will now work with all the organisations involved to ensure we examine these recommendations and act to ensure we make better decisions to meet the needs of young people and ensure they feel their voice is heard.”

Speaking about the importance of the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, member Hamaiza Ul-Hassan said:

“I believe the Youth Commission has helped me to educate both young people and the police on sensitive topics that I am passionate about. I have had the opportunity to communicate literally with police officers and young people. Including, having the availability to a local police officer that attended Youth Commission events. As well as this I was able to talk to students from my local area and this was one of the most valuable experiences for me.”

While, member Fay Wileman added:

“The Youth Commission gave me a voice and opportunity to allow other young people have a voice. Through my time with the youth commission I felt so privileged to hear so many diverse young people’s view. It allowed me to learn how to communicate with range of different people and understand their views. I built so much confidence through the commission, speaking in front of large crowds but also leading workshops. It help me decide on my career path as it made me want to make a difference to young people at grass roots level through becoming a PCSO. I have learnt about the amazing things the criminal justice system but also how there is a lot more work to be done.”

Read the full report here >>