Merseyside Youth Commission present the top force priorities for young people

DPCC Jeanie Bell and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy with young people from the Youth Commission

Last night, Wednesday 29 May, the Merseyside Youth Commission, a group of more than 15 young people aged 14-25, presented to the leaders of Merseyside Police what they believe to be the top four priorities affecting people of their age.

Funded by force, the Youth Commission was formed back in September 2023 with the help of ‘Leaders Unlocked’, a not-for-profit organisation which enables ‘young people to have a stronger voice and influence over the issues that affect their lives’.

Throughout the past year members of the Youth Commission have conducted a range of interactive workshops and surveys with more than 1,500 young people from across the region, all with different life experiences, skills and backgrounds.

 Collectively, the young people have agreed the top priorities for the force should be:

  • Gang & knife crime
  • Youth protection and domestic violence
  • Crime prevention and education
  • Relationship with the police

These priorities were presented last night at the ‘Big Conversation’ Conference held at Merseyside Police Headquarters, in front of an audience which included Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy KPM, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Cllr Jeanie Bell, representatives from Merseyside’s Violence Reduction Partnership, and more than 40 key force stakeholders.

During the event, the Youth Commission members were also able to discuss how they thought the force could tackle these priorities whilst at the same time, being able to talk from a position of personal lived experience.

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy KPM, said: “Working with the youth commission has been a fantastic opportunity to hear what our young people feel about policing in their communities and the impact criminality has on them.

“Not only did the members share their key priorities, they also shared a range of personal perspectives and recommendations for change to influence our approach going forward.

“Hearing some of the issues they raised was hard-hitting but that was why it was important that we as a force, and our stakeholders, were there to listen to these truths so together we can plan to tackle them.”

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “The ‘Big Conversation’ conference was a brilliant opportunity to listen to the voices of young people on the issues that matter most to them when it comes to policing.

“Their research provides us with a fantastic insight into the views and feeling of young people across our region.

“Our job now is to make sure we use their really valuable input to make a positive difference and make our communities even safer for them.”

“Kaytea Budd-Brophy, Senior Manager, Leaders Unlocked, said: “This has been an amazing journey for the Youth Commission members have been on, they have developed key priorities and learned new skills.

“These skills include conducting peer-led citizen research, designing and delivering interactive workshops to their peers, analysing this data and presenting their findings and recommendations to an audience of Senior police officers and key decision-makers in Merseyside. 

“I’m hugely proud of the Merseyside Youth Commission, which represented the voices of young people across the region, showing that young people want to be part of the conversation for positive change.”