Police ‘stop and search’ powers and the relationship between young people and the force should be top of the priority list, according to the county’s youth.
The action areas were identified by Nottinghamshire’s new Youth Commissioners at their first meeting.
Young people have been encouraged to have a bigger voice in policing through a project developed by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping in conjunction with social enterprise firm Leaders Unlocked.
The 25-strong Youth Commission panel includes ex-offenders, victims and witnesses of crime, university students, youth workers, journalists, cadets and aspiring police officers.
Members are drawn from 16 different postal sectors including Mansfield, Arnold, Bassetlaw, Retford and Newark.
One of the main tasks of the opening session was for the panel to set the priorities they wanted to tackle during their time on the commission.
After much deliberation, the group set stop and search powers and relations with the police as their top priority followed by the rehabilitation of young offenders, the link between deprivation and crime, the night-time economy and lastly, prevention and education.
Commenting on the event, Commissioner Tipping said: “It was pleasing to see the commission finally take shape after many months of work and see for myself just how enthusiastic the panel members are about protecting young people and their rights.
“The initial discussions were both intelligent and productive.”
Rose Dowling, director of Leaders Unlocked, added: “It was incredible to see the diversity of the Youth Commissioners and the way that they worked together across the usual divides of age, class, background, and culture.
“They arrived at five really strong priorities which they will take forward over the next five months through their ‘Big Conversation’ with 1,000 other young people across the city and the county.”
The Youth Commissioners will be tasked with developing strategies to address community safety issues such as re-offending, strengthening links between police and the public and reducing crime.
and tackling antisocial behaviour.
Youth Commission member Katherine, 15, from Mansfield said: “I want to have a voice and be able to change the community. I want to be a police officer and being here enables me to have experience and change things for the future.”
Panel member Maigan, 18, from Blidworth, added: “I joined the Youth Commission to make a different within drug and alcohol issues. I’m on the team which is looking at the night-time economy and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can make a difference.”
Members of the Commission will meet three more times between now and January and will also be invited to provide direct input into the Force.