The team of representatives Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner has brought together to tackle bullying has been listening to the experiences of victims of bullying in Cheshire.
Members of Cheshire’s Anti-Bullying Commission held their first meeting yesterday evening (Tuesday 8 October) at Stockton Heath Police Station.
As part of the meeting, the Commission members set out the outcomes and work streams for the project and also discussed case-studies that were captured over the summer when the Commissioner and his team travelled across the county to give victims of bullying the opportunity to tell their story as part of a public call-for-evidence.
The case-studies not only detail individuals’ experiences of bullying but also what support they received at the time and what further support they would like to see put in place to protect other victims.
The first stage of the project has been focusing on giving young people under 25 a voice. The second and third stages will explore workplace bullying and the targeting of older people.
The evidence collated will be used to develop a set of recommendations for police and other criminal justice organisations, education establishments and elected representatives to consider how they can provide more protection for victims of bullying.
PCC David Keane said: “Over the last few months we’ve spoken to hundreds of local residents who have either experienced bullying themselves or have a close friend or family member who has been victim to bullying. We have heard first-hand the devastating effect bullying has had on too many people’s lives.
“At Chester Pride alone we spoke to 236 people. 209 of them had experienced bullying in some form. This is not acceptable. We need to do more to protect both children and adults from bullying. As public representatives, we all have an important role to play in providing more support.”
The Anti-Bullying Commission is chaired by Alan Yates, a former Cheshire head teacher, with Cheshire’s Chief Constable Darren Martland, the Commissioner himself and representatives from Children’s Services, academia, the local community and the Cheshire Youth Commission also sitting on the commission.
Alan added: “We have seen an increase in incidences of bullying in our schools and workplaces over recent years. The advent of technology also means that bullying can be relentless with bullies using social media to taunt their victims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“I’m pleased that Cheshire’s Anti-Bullying Commission is giving victims, who are often silenced, the opportunity to tell their story and to improve support services for others.”
The call-for-evidence for under 25s will remain open until the end of November 2019 with the Commission meeting on a regular basis to review the case-studies before reporting on the findings in early 2020.
As well as attending public events advertised on the Commissioner’s website, local residents can tell their story online by clicking this link.