How can the police listen to young people?

There are several effective ways that safer schools police officers can listen to young people and understand their current issues. By using the following methods, safer schools police officers can listen to young people and understand their current issues. This can help build trust and build positive relationships between young people and the police, which can lead to safer school environments and stronger communities.

Youth-led focus groups

Conducting youth-led focus groups where young people can express their opinions, ideas, and concerns on issues that affect them. These focus groups can provide a platform for young people to engage with the police in a safe and comfortable environment.

Social media engagement

Engaging with young people through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which are popular among young people. This allows the police officer to reach a wider audience and engage with young people who may not have the opportunity to attend focus groups or meetings.

School visits

Visiting schools and interacting with young people in a non-intimidating and friendly manner. This can help build trust and rapport between the police officer and young people.

Community events

Attending community events that are targeted towards young people, such as youth fairs, concerts, and festivals. This provides an opportunity for the police officer to engage with young people and listen to their concerns in a relaxed and informal setting.

Anonymous surveys

Conducting anonymous surveys that allow young people to share their views and experiences without fear of judgment or retribution. These surveys can be distributed through schools, youth centres, and social media platforms.

Volunteer Police Cadets

Creating police youth cadet programs, which provide young people with the opportunity to work with the police officer and learn more about law enforcement. This can foster positive relationships between young people and the police and encourage young people to share their concerns and ideas with the police officer.

Face-to-face meetings

Meeting with young people one-on-one in a private setting, such as a school counsellor's office or a youth centre. This allows young people to express themselves more freely and openly without feeling judged or self-conscious in a group setting.

Youth advisory boards

Creating a youth advisory board comprised of young people who can provide feedback and input on issues affecting their peers. This can help the police officer understand the perspectives and concerns of young people and develop targeted approaches to addressing these issues.

Collaborative partnerships

Partnering with community organizations, such as youth advocacy groups, after-school programs, and community centres, to facilitate dialogue and engagement between young people and the police officer.

Artistic expressions

Encouraging young people to express their perspectives and ideas through artistic mediums, such as music, poetry, and visual arts. This can provide a unique and creative way for young people to communicate their thoughts and feelings and help the police officer understand the issues that are most important to them.

By using a combination of these methods, safer schools police officers can effectively listen to young people and gain a better understanding of the current issues for young people in their communities. This can lead to more effective crime prevention strategies and a safer school environment for all students.

Author

Steven Sweeney BSc (Hons), MSc

Metropolitan Police Service, Frontline Policing Delivery Unit, Youth Policy Team