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The Cambs Youth Panel began as a means for Cambridgeshire Constabulary to build a stronger relationship with young communities predominantly in the East Cambs area.
We continue to enjoy a very close relationship with the Police and we have unique opportunity to offer more insight into what the Police are doing and why.
We also play a strong role in holding the Constabulary to account. Policies and processes that have an effect on quality of life for young communities should be subject to checks and balances - and the Senior Management Team at the Police agree that consultation is the most positive way forward.
The College of Policing visited the Panel and have listed our activities in a library of resources to advise other Police Forces and Constabularies of how best to engage with young people.
Our involvement has been cited in the 2018 Cambridgeshire Constabulary legitimacy review which was submitted to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire & Rescue Services.
It is important to have absolute transparency on who funds us and where our financial resources are drawn from.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner have been generous in their funding and support. In 2016 we received a £1600 grant from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation accessed via the Office of Police Crime Commissioner, and in 2018 we received a grant of £2500 from the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) fund (directly from the police).
We are grateful to Cambridgeshire Constabulary for their continued engagement and the resources they have afforded to us so that we can continue our work. We take this as a clear sign of their commitment to reach out to young people and improve their understanding of young communities.
We regularly meet on police premises and we have visited police headquarters to meet with both the PCC and the Chief Constable.
We have visited different departments within police organisation - including firearms, dog section, the control room, response and neighbourhood policing teams.
"Young people are a really important part of what makes Cambridgeshire a unique part of the country. We are lucky to have so much potential in our schools and young communities – and we are very keen to work with that potential to make our communities stronger and more resilient to the pressures placed upon them. By visiting this website we hope that you are taking your first steps on that journey.
People might have ideas about what it is like to grow up in our county – they might think of Cambridgeshire as a sleepy, or even a privileged place. We know that there are young people in all our towns and villages facing exactly the same challenges as their peers in other areas of the UK. We have no complacency about that and we listen to our young people to understand those challenges and to work together to solve problems."
"Knife crime and County Lines drug dealing is at the top of our list of priorities. We are here to work with young people to keep them safe from being caught up in crime, violence or harm. By listening to young volunteers we gather more information and intelligence so that we can develop our policies in a more considerate way, and we are far more likely to get it right. Getting it right means keeping the county safe so that young people can learn, can enjoy themselves, and can become rounded adults."
"We want to be an approachable service – to create a Constabulary that belongs to young people as much as it belongs to older generations. We are challenging ourselves to stay in touch with new trends and the opportunities of the cyber environment. We realise that it is a different world to the one that many of us grew up in!
I am grateful to the young people who volunteer themselves to become active citizens – and the Cambs Youth Panel is a great example of active citizenship. I am very proud to have donated financial support to this group through the Proceeds of Crime Act – and it shows how we can take resources from criminals and reinvest them into positive grassroots activity."
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