YOUNGSTERS and police swapped frank views at a summit aiming to tackle the problem of youth violence.
The cross-party Youth Violence Commission, led by Vicky Foxcroft MP, paid a visit to Portsmouth at a meeting held in the civic offices in Guildhall Square.
Arranged by the commission’s secretariat, Active Communities Network, the sessions saw sector workers, police and young people swap views on how to battle the problem.
Issues raised included stop and search tactics by police.
Julian Wadsworth, from Active Communities Network, said: ‘It was really beneficial to have a visit from Vicky Foxcroft and the YVC to Portsmouth to discuss the local issues and best practice with our valued colleagues from Portsmouth City Council, Public Health, policing, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the voluntary sector.
‘The fact that we had young people from the local community sharing their thoughts with frontline professionals and having a voice is vital if we are all going to work together and implement a long-term strategy to counter the complex issue of youth violence.
‘I am really pleased that have such a collaborative, determined and progressive local authority, police force and voluntary sector to work alongside the YVC and ACN in 2018 and beyond.’
Mr Wadsworth said he hoped there would be more chances for police and young people to speak frankly, but action must come out of this.
Active Communities Network operates in Portsmouth and Leigh Park working with youngsters at risk.
The commission is looking into several aspects, including the role of social and traditional media.
Ms Foxcroft said: ‘Young people’s experience of violence on a day-to-day basis is far higher than people would expect.’