WEST Midlands Police are inviting young people of African Caribbean ethnicity to voice their opinions about issues which may affect them.
The force is holding the first African-Caribbean consultation conference to find out how 13 – 17-year olds feel about contemporary issues which may affect them.
The conference will cover the following topics:
How young people feel about:
• West Midlands Police and the service you currently receive
• How we can serve you better
• Guns and gangs
• knife crime
• Stop and search
West Midland Police are committed to building on existing relationships with this group, who are currently not involved in any formal ongoing consultation. The views expressed in the conference will contribute towards policing policies and objectives to further improve the current service.
The attendees for the conference were invited to participate in a selection process and were asked to submit a piece of writing, poetry or art describing how they felt about the police or about the issues which affected them. PC Andrea Reynolds, who is the conference organiser, received a fantastic response and selected the teenage audience based on their submissions.
The conference will include a number of talks hosted by some of the region's young role models and talent showcases provided by local talent groups.
PC Reynolds said: “This is the first conference of its kind and has been organised to discover the valuable opinions of the region's Afro Caribbean community - a community which often feels isolated and blamed for gun and gang crime, which is actually an issue that affects every section of society and is a problem owned by every group.
“Despite this, Afro Caribbean young people are more likely to die as a result of crimes relating to guns and knives.
“This conference is our chance to build bridges, to do better and to appreciate what these young people have to say."
The African Caribbean conference was set up as part of the Home Office's commitment to tackling gang, gun and knife crime. West Midlands Police hope to roll out the initiative to other groups throughout the region.
The conference will be held on 4 November at Tally Ho! Training Centre, Pershore Road and is by invitation only.
If you require any further information or would like to request an interview, please contact PC Andrea Reynolds on 07968 186 964.