Youth raise concerns about policing tactics

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Young people called for police officers to be more approachable to under 25s in the largest ever study of young people’s opinions of policing in North Yorkshire, instigated by Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Among its findings, it says that young people want police officers to be more consistent in the way they interact with the age group and for them not to judge on the basis of their age or appearance.

The project was carried out by a North Yorkshire-wide Youth Commission funded by Julia Mulligan in July 2015 and made up of 30 volunteers aged 14 to 25.

The young people recently presented their findings at a major event involving police, youth workers and other professionals interested in their thoughts on policing.

Members of the Youth Commission carried out a Big Conversation comprising consultation events at colleges, youth clubs and other venues across the county in order to gather the views of more than 1,500 young people.

The issues they discussed were: cyber-bullying and internet safety, hate crime, legal highs and drug abuse, relationships with the police, preventing youth crime and youth vulnerability and exploitation.

Julia said: “I instigated the Youth Commission because it was clear from my work in drawing up the Police and Crime Plan that the views of children and young people were not being heard as they should be.

“It is a first in North Yorkshire. Never before have we heard the views of over 1,500 young people in relation to policing and personal safety.”

She added that strategies would be reviewed.

“As a consequence, North Yorkshire Police’s strategy for young people will be reviewed and updated,” added Julia.

“The report also comes at a very pertinent time, when North Yorkshire Police is preparing to increase the money dedicated to protecting children and vulnerable people.

“This means the police will have more resources available to act on the recommendations made by the Commission. I fully expect them to do so.”

Also a student at Harrogate Grammar, Oliver Rivett-Jones, of Wetherby, said: “We’ve developed lots of ideas.

“One of ideas was increased lighting in certain areas, especially on cycle paths and in student areas.”