Mature, socially responsible and a huge credit to society – that’s how Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Phillip Wilkinson described the county’s Youth Commission after meeting them for the first time on Saturday.
The group, which is made up of thirty 14-24 year-olds, was set up earlier this year to discuss policing, crime and community safety matters in Wiltshire and Swindon. Eleven members of the group met at Chippenham’s Community Hub over the weekend and talked about issues surrounding perceptions of the police, drug and alcohol abuse and how domestic abuse can affect family members and children as well as victims.
Following the meeting, PCC Philip Wilkinson said:
“What was hugely impressive was that the presentations from the group were not a series of complaints but also offered practical suggestions for how we can improve matters and make Wiltshire safer.
“There were a lot of really excellent ideas that I came away with, which I will use to influence my planning and how we do business generally.
“Having met these incredibly impressive young people, I was left with a conundrum. How do you describe a collection of individuals who, while they may be described by many as youths, demonstrate a level of maturity and social responsibility that would surpass that of many adults? They were a huge credit to society, which bodes well for our future.
“Well done to them all, the organisers of the event and the Police Community Support Officers who support them.”
The Youth Commission, run by Leaders Unlocked on behalf of the OPCC, will see priorities set and a number of reports written, to ensure that young people’s views and experiences are reflected in the next police and crime plan.
Speaking after the event, they were equally happy with how the meeting had gone:
It is great to have a PCC who is so interactive and genuinely interested in interacting with the youth of Wiltshire and Swindon. Imogen
I thought it was a good idea to let the PCC listen to our point of view on the issues and help work together to find solutions. Jessica
I thought it was a really good opportunity to discuss our own views alongside the data to get an overall consensus of what needs to be done. It was nice to be able to open up a bit more due to the open face to face environment. Taniqua