Dear Editor

What the new Police and Crime Commissioners must do first

This May we will elect our new local Police and Crime Commissioner.

We at Nacro, a national charity helping people through its education, housing and criminal justice services, believe they can make a significant difference in building better relationships between the police and young people.

Young people tell us that they wouldn’t call the police if they were a victim of a crime and they feel the police hold stereotypical views of young people.

Yet children and young people are disproportionately likely to be victims of crime, with teenagers the most at risk group from crimes such as knife crime, which is on the increase across the country.

There is also a small minority of young people who do get swept up into the criminal justice system, and the new PCCs have a role to play to reduce this number, using evidence-based approaches.

We hope to see the area’s new PCCs come into their post with a goal to understand young people better; to create community initiatives alongside them; to look at what works to divert young people away from crime, and to offer support to young people already in the criminal justice system to ensure they have better options away from crime.

Yours, Campbell Robb, CEO, Nacro