As part of our consultation on the DRAFT Plan we asked the newly elected Youth Council for their comments and feedback.
3 of them took considerable time to contact us as individuals and let us know what they thought. We were so impressed with their responses and the time and effort that had gone into their replies that we wanted to share them. Below are those responses......
"When reading the paragraph 2.1, this reassured me about Furness; the amount of crime in our area is considerably low, below the lower bound line. Compared to other areas, this is exceptional behaviour in a community, and it shows that the people in our area do care about where they live, bringing hope to our future. I think that we should show the people of Furness these figures; this will give them more pride in their area.
However, there are always going to be exceptions to this good news and not everyone is going to be like the majority. This sort of damage is labelled straight away as 'the work of youths'. This is what we need to focus on, and help the people who are not respecting their area as they should.
It does say that the majority of the crime in Furness is committed by young people and tends to be dog-fouling, anti-social behaviour, alcohol use and even drug use. Behaviour like this from young people can be down to them wanting to come across as 'hard' to their peers, or even to be as adult-like as possible. I think this does need to be dealt with in a careful way because this could be a difficult subject to go about, depending on the way people would react.
I think that this is a good plan to be involved in, as crime is something that should be dealt with straight away. However, I do think that crime is pinned too much on youths; I think people should look into WHY this person may be behaving like this, if/how they are being influenced and how we can prevent things such as this happening. As I mentioned before I think that crime is associated too strongly with youths, and crime is not always the doing of young people. I think to prevent this we should collect exact figures of how much crime is actually committed by youths, and how much by others. If the figures from youths are still higher, we should show people reasons why these figures are so high, and even how they can help; not just committees such as the youth council." Siân Doherty, 13
"Overall the plan is well structured and can be used as a good guideline for numerous groups across Cumbria as well as the borough. I really like the idea of setting targets for the groups in what they need to specifically focus on in the coming year. I like the way the document also explains how to tackle it. I must say that I think many people could use this method in a similar way across many other areas of life and this document helps give a huge amount of organisations very good and detailed guidelines. I love the way the document is focused on overall crime including youth crime and adult crime as this shows people that crime is a society problem and that we need to work together to tackle the large problem. A good idea to possibly add to this document is maybe getting children to present to each other all about crime and drinking and drugs etc. but also actually get children to present to adults about drinking responsibly etc.
Referring to the representing youth’s question, the document certainly doesn’t express giving youth’s a bad stereotype, however like any organisation, I believe that as well as looking at problems occurring in the borough, I believe that the document should also highlight how many youths don’t cause problems in the area and are challenged massively in life because of the minority of youth which basically can’t help themselves but cause trouble. Organisations should influence the way in which adults of the area think of the youth’s which don’t want to cause trouble but are highly, as I say, ‘challenged and faced with’ the stereotype of the way in which a small number of young people behave. As well as this I’m sure most youths across Cumbria will agree that the repeated offenders should be punished until they get the message. I also believe that youths should be given the chance to tell these offenders what they really think of them and that they don’t think that they are ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ and that they are causing huge problems for the other youths of today. So in conclusion, I believe that the offending Youth’s and other youth’s should be separated widely and youth’s should be protected from being given the chance to offend or wanting to. The offenders should be treated with more harshly than now in my opinion, in order to separate these to different types of youths. The stereotype of youths needs to improve, and I think that this should be highlighted in this document in a huge way.
One last thing I would add is to either make another document about the following point or add this to the existing one. For each type of crime you explain what you are going to do to tackle it but you could also explain how you are going to for fill each point. This would then show people in more detail perhaps events which might be happening and then this may give more people the chance to comment on steps which you are taking in order to tackle crime." Connor Wood, 12
"We thought that maybe the youth council could work with schools and youth organisations to raise awareness of these priorities and discuss with Headteachers and Curriculum Leaders implementation into Citizenship of the link to alcohol and anti-social behaviour and crime.
Would it also be a good idea for the Youth Council to be part of the monitoring process as CDRP roll out their strategies for tackling their priorities and maybe the Youth Council could be the voice for disseminating the information back to children and young people." Chloe Johnson, 11
Barrow CDRP are looking forward to meeting up with the newly elected Youth Councillors to discuss mutual areas of interest and concern. One of the issues they are starting to discuss and explore is 'Tackling Negative Stereotypes of Young People'. We will definitely benefit from the enthusiasm and knowledge they are willing to share and can't wait until our first meeting.
I'll keep you updated about how it goes and I'm sure they will too.
Finally, I think the future of Barrow is safe if these 3 young people are representative of what we have to look forward to in the years to come.
Have a good weekend, Rebecca
To find out more about the Youth Council log on to: http://www.furnessyouthcouncil.weebly.com/