Youth engagement training for police officers

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Reference: 
2014/5003
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
Jenny Jones
Category: 

Question

Will you take up the recommendations of the Met Challenge 2020 Youth Engagement report by Byron Grant which calls for the Metropolitan Police to provide skills sessions for police officers in how to communicate with young people?

Answer

Answer for Youth engagement training for police officers

Answer for Youth engagement training for police officers

Answered By: 
Jenny Jones

Thank you very much, Jenny.  The answer is that obviously we are looking at the Met Challenge 2020 intern programme and the report that was written as a result of that programme.

 

We are of course doing all sorts of things to make sure that the MPS understands how to engage with young people.  Confidence of young people in the MPS has risen, but not hugely, as you know.  It has gone up from 62% to 64%.  At the moment we have Safer Schools officers who go in to chat to kids so that kids can get to know the police.  There is a very clear direction now from the very top of the MPS that any interaction with young people in the streets or wherever has to be conducted in a polite, civilised and respectful way.  The Safer Neighbourhood Board Fund is working with young people to deliver conferences between young people and the MPS about youth crime and how to tackle it.

 

We have a community ambassador scheme that I saw in action the other day working out in Ealing with Sonia Brown [Member, Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) Diversity Taskforce] and others, working directly to bring police officers into contact with young people.  There was a game of netball that you may have seen and there are other things going on at the moment.

 

Jenny Jones AM:  I am completely supportive of all those initiatives.  They are really valuable because we all know that young people are more likely to be victims of crime than any other group and also they are less likely to report those crimes than any other group.  There is work to be done here between the MPS and young people.

 

The point about Byron Grant’s [Project Co-ordinator, MPS] report is that it echoes work I have done, work the PCC has done here and also the MPS’s own charity, the Safer London Foundation.  We have all called for young people to be involved in police officer training, which does not happen at the moment.  There is youth training during stop-and-search, for example, but there are no young people brought in.  This is a big failing.

 

All I am asking is that you will recommend to the police that they actually listen to all these people who are saying, “Bring young people in for the police officer training”.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes.  Obviously, it should be integral to police officer training that they understand how to handle people from all communities and that they have a general sensitivity in their dealings with young people as well as everybody else.  Quite how that is addressed in training I will look into further.

 

One thing I failed to mention, of course, is the huge number of police cadets we have coming now ‑‑

 

Jenny Jones AM:  Yes, but that is not the same, Boris.  I have run out of time.  I am so sorry.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  It is a very important way of introducing the younger generation to the police.  We have 3,400 and Sir Bernard [Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis] wants 10,000 of them.