YOUNG people in the Ashbourne area have made it clear to area’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles that when it comes to crime they have their own views.
Discussions held over the last few months in a wide range of forums and groups across the county found that the majority of young people had negative perceptions of the police.
However, many of the same group who expressed these views had positive feedback about their actual experience with their local PCSOs and of being held in custody.
A clear distinction was often made between PCSOs and what young people term ‘proper’ police.
One of the key findings was that nearly one third of young people would only report an offence if they perceived it as ‘serious’, and many were not clear how to report crime, especially of a non-emergency or petty nature.
Most were not aware of the 101 service, and said they would prefer to report via a text or online service.
Many appeared to lack the confidence that they would be taken seriously and some gave specific examples when they felt they had not been taken seriously.
Hate, bullying and internet or cyber-crimes were frequently raised within the sessions as issues of concern, but those consulted did not know of any specific means or service of how to report it.
The Commissioner commented: “I am very grateful to those who took part in these discussions.
“Their views have helped us to ask the right questions in a wider survey, putting us on track for pinpointing the issues that are important to our young people.
“I believe the findings will help us build better relationships with younger members of our community, resulting in less crime and anti-social behaviour.”