TIM DREW: Commission gathers views from 2,000 young people

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YOUTH engagement, optimising resource management and the strengthening of ties between the police and Neighbourhood Watch all featured in Sussex Police and crime commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne’s address to the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation conference, which summed up her first 22 months in the role.

Mrs Bourne said that young people were more likely to be affected by crime than any other age group, but many had been excluded from having any say in police strategy as they were not of voting age. For this reason, a new Youth Commission was set up, consisting of 28 young people aged between 14 and 25, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including communities regarded by the police as being harder to reach.

The commission was tasked with gathering the views of more than 2,000 young people over five categories of priority issues. These included abuse – including domestic abuse, sexual abuse and rape, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying – including cyber-bullying, offending and re-offending, and the relationship between young people and the police, such as in ‘stop-and-search’ cases.

Last month, the commission’s findings were fed back to the PCC and to the SHM Foundation (which partnered her in setting up the Commission and is a registered charily whose object is the achievement of positive social change) and have since been passed on to the Chief Constable of Sussex, Giles York, who was very impressed by the quality of the information submitted.

• The Broadwater Neighbourhood Panel meets on Monday, October 27, from7pm to 9pm, at the Broadwater Parish Centre, Broadwater Road, Broadwater. The panel for Salvington meets the following evening at the New Life Church, in Salvington Road, Worthing, between 7pm and 8pm. On Thursday, October 30, PCSO Ben Cruise hosts his surgery between 11am and mid-day at the West Worthing Baptist Church, in South Street, Tarring, followed by PCSO Carol Fulcher’s at Goring Library, in Mulberry Lane, Goring, between 4pm and 4.45pm.