The Education Authority Youth Service and Long Tower Youth Club recently welcomed over 100 young people from across Derry City to the Guildhall, for important conversations on issues relevant to them.
At the ‘Your Voice Matters’ event, young people expressed their views as outlined in Article 13 of UNCRC, talking primarily about their views and experiences of policing in their local communities.
Some of the issues raised by the young people included the impact of stop and search, drugs and alcohol, anti-social behaviour, death driving and house searches within their local communities.
Arlene Kee, Assistant Director of Youth Services, said:
“Through the youth work process young people wanted the opportunity to engage and challenge directly those organisations that have an impact on their day to day lives.
“Today our children and young people within Derry showed great courage and commitment in their willingness to discuss the value they place on the people within their communities, including community leaders, youth workers and PSNI officers.
“During the open and honest dialogue young people listened to the experiences and views of ex-combatants. They also held police officers and others to account, reinforcing their belief that laws are important and no one should abuse them.
“This is part of an ongoing important discussion about how everyone has a positive role to play in local communities and the Youth Service will continue to support our young people to make a difference within the city.
“I welcome the PSNI’s commitment to continue this engagement and connect with our young people on the issues they identified.”
Superintendent Gordon McAlmont, Derry and Strabane District Commander, said:
“This was a fantastic opportunity for PSNI and our partners to connect with the young people of this city.
“We had some honest and challenging conversations and we will continue to listen and respond to the voices of children and young people.”