Young people urged to have their say on policing in Wiltshire and Swindon
Wiltshire and Swindon’s award-winning Youth Commission is recruiting for new members to help shape policing in the county and to ensure greater representation for those aged 14-25.
The Youth Commission enables young people, including those from underrepresented groups, to have a stronger voice on the police and crime issues that affect their lives and is now entering its second year - thanks to backing from Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson.
This project enables young people to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Wiltshire Police.
Mr Wilkinson said: “The Youth Commission, and its members, has been invaluable in bridging the gap between young people and the police.
“This project ensures that young people, including those from underrepresented groups, have a say in how their communities are policed and how key issues they identify should be tackled.
“For too long have young people had too quiet a voice in the local services and support available to them, and the Youth Commission goes some way to rectify that deficit.
“This youthled project will ensure that this engagement now happens and when it comes to police and crime matters, I will ensure that their incredibly insightful and thought-provoking observations and research are fully implemented in a timely and considered manner.”
The new Youth Commission members will meet for the first time in June all members will be given appropriate training before hosting a conference at the beginning of 2023 and presenting recommendations to key decision-makers to improve police and crime matters in Wiltshire.
The project, run by Leaders Unlocked on behalf of the PCC, will be recruiting up to 30 young people from across the county over the coming weeks.
Youth Commission member, Megan Goff said: “The Youth Commission is an invaluable platform for young people from all backgrounds to express their views on crime in their local area. It allows for wider conversations discussing issues that are paramount to the next generation, something essential for progression in policy to adapt to social change.
“I have enjoyed meeting all the other members of the group and hearing so many opinions. It has been a real eye opener in terms of diversifying my understanding of how different groups of young people perceive the police force and the current criminal threats.
“I also got the chance to attend Wiltshire Police’s Awards evening, which again was a brilliant opportunity, to collect an award from the PCC.
“So for young people who want their voice heard or want to gain some experience with the criminal justice system this is perfect for you. As well as being a great group to be a part of, it is also something valuable to add to your CV for later.”
Leaders Unlocked provides young people with a platform to influence decisions about policing and crime prevention. In partnership with a number of OPCCs nationally, they have developed the Youth Commission model to enable young people to inform policing decisions in their regions.