The Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner, Stephen Mold has announced that he is developing a new police and crime youth commission to ensure that youngsters have a greater voice in developing police services.
The new youth commission - set to launch in autumn this year - will allow young people to express their views on a range of issues affecting their communities and where they live. In addition, the youth commission will be able to support, challenge and inform the work of the police and crime commissioner and Northamptonshire Police.
During autumn 2017, the new police and crime youth commission will begin a recruitment campaign to enrol 30 youth commission members, aged between 11-24 years, who live in the Northamptonshire policing area.
Stephen Mold said: “Developing a youth commission is a very exciting and important step for the OPCC. I think it’s vital that young people are supported to be actively involved in designing, developing and improving their local services. The youth commission will help young people to express their views and share their experiences to inform the way a service should be designed or delivered.
“It’s very important that we ensure that the youth commission is made up of a diverse group of young people who reflect the make-up of our local population, including those who may have direct experience of the police and the criminal justice system.
“It’s important we listen to and take into account in any decision making, the ideas and attitudes of young people. After all, young people are the experts in understanding young people.
“I strongly believe that involving young people will not only help to create a sense of belonging and ownership but will also support our police, criminal justice and support services to become more effective. It will help both my team and the police make better decisions to meet and understand the needs of local young people.”
Members will participate in a number of youth commission sessions, working on special topics such as mental health, antisocial behaviour, hate crime and domestic abuse.
They will also be tasked with gathering the views of other young people, carrying out research with schools, colleges, universities and youth groups.
In addition, they will help to plan and design events to engage with other young people – and share their findings and thoughts with the police and crime commissioner.