Members of Cheshire police and crime commissioner’s Youth Commission have had the opportunity to shadow the work of police officers in Cheshire on their busiest nights of the year.
As part of their work to give young people a voice in policing, eight Youth Commission members went on ‘ride alongs’ with police during Halloween and Bonfire Night.
This gave them the opportunity to observe how the police work and how they interact with the public and younger people in the community during Operation Treacle.
The young people attended briefing sessions at the police station closest to where their observation was taking place before heading out with officers in either Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Warrington, Widnes or Northwich.
20-year-old Lucdovica Lunigiani from Chester, who took part in the observation in Ellesmere Port, said: “I didn’t know what to expect but what I saw and how I felt exceed all my expectations.
“What I was most amazed by was the kindness of the police officers with the people. They would just stop and ask questions to make sure that everyone was fine. When antisocial behaviour from teenagers was reported, they handled the situation professionally and always took into consideration the safety of those individuals.
“During my experience, I have seen a side of the police that is not often recognised by the society. I believe that telling other young people about my experiences could be key to improving the relationship between the police and young people.”
The Youth Commission plays a crucial role in the police and crime commissioner’s engagement with those under the age of 25 in Cheshire. They act as advocates for their peers by supporting, challenging and informing the work of the commissioner to ensure that young people are represented in the decisions the commissioner makes on policing in Cheshire.
They consult with thousands of young people to ensure the issues that matter to them the most, are on the agenda of the commissioner and Cheshire Police. Their role in the observations during Operation Treacle will inform their consultation with other young people and their report they’ll present to the commissioner next year.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “I’m pleased that members of the Youth Commission have been able to observe the real-life pressures that police officers in Cheshire are facing every day and it’s particularly pleasing that they were able to take part in ‘ride alongs’ on the two busiest nights of the year for our response teams.
“This enhanced understanding of how police officers interact with members of the community when they need police support most, will help inform the Youth Commission’s work to ensure young people are represented in important policing decisions.”