Belfast Telegraph

Young people meet police head on

Young people from across the Ards will gather next week (Monday 27th September) in a ‘meeting of minds’ with the PSNI.

In a public forum event – ‘Young people and positive policing’ – organised by the Ards District Policing Partnership (DPP), youth groups and clubs will talk directly with local police chiefs, highlighting that the vast majority of young people are responsible citizens, do not offend, but can themselves often be victims of crime and so need positive policing that meets their needs.

The event follows the recent publication of a report entitled “Beyond the margins – Building trust in policing with young people” in which the Northern Ireland Policing Board called for greater understanding between the police and young people as consumers of policing. Against this background, the public forum is all the more relevant, according to Chairman of the DPP, Councillor Angus Carson:

“While local people very often have legitimate concerns around anti-social behaviour which is more often than not caused by young people, there is always a danger that all young people are tarred with the same brush. This is just one example of how youngsters can feel misunderstood and alienated, which in turn leads to negative attitudes by them towards the police and authority in general,” said Councillor Carson. “Young people can be victims of crime too and equally have valuable contributions to make in improving community safety. This event aims to help break down barriers, address misperceptions and assist young people to engage more effectively with the police and vice versa. Hopefully this will just be the beginning of the process to build more positive relationships”.

The Public Forum meeting takes place on Monday 27th September in Greyabbey Village Hall at 7.30pm. Anyone who would like to know more about the work of the DPP or to attend future public events should contact Alan McCay, DPP Manager, Tel: 028 9182 4070.

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