‘Policing, Community Safety and Our Young People’ Seminar An Overwhelming Success
ALMOST 200 pupils from 10 secondary schools in Down District attended a policing and community safety seminar facilitated by the PSNI, NI Policing Board and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).
Key-note speakers on the day included Councillor Willie Clarke, PCSP Chairman, Debbie Waters, Policing Board member, and PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott.
Policing Board Member and South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane participated in a discussion panel which gave students the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns they have about policing and community safety.
The theme of the seminar, aimed at students aged fifteen years and above, was communication and how opening lines of communication between young people, the PSNI and the wider community can help positively address a huge range of safety and crime related concerns including cyber bullying, drugs and anti-social behaviour.
It is widely acknowledged however that despite young people being labelled as the cause of some problems they are in fact the group most likely to become a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour. This seminar explored the theory that effective communication can dramatically improve the safety of young people in school, on our streets and online.
PCSP Chairman Councillor Willie Clarke addressed the large crowd and said: “I am delighted to be at the Great Hall with so many students who are keen to take part in a conversation about their own personal safety and the safety of the wider community.”
He then gave a brief background on the role of the PCSP, youth programmes, the Partnership that includes the ‘Internet Safety’, ‘Mourne Mountain Adventure’ and ‘Diversion Through Sport’ initiatives; and he spoke about how the PCSP, NI Policing Board and PSNI are continuously working together to keep young people across Down District safe.
Councillor Clarke added: “I am hopeful that this is the first of many youth targeted events on policing and safety. We hope to organising smaller more specific schools events over the next few months and are planning to host these seminars annually, in addition to us engaging you in on-going programmes such as internet safety.”
For further information about the seminar or to find out more about the work of the PCSP, please contact the Partnership office at Down District Council on 028 4461 0800.