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Police line up team of young to tackle crime

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A?series of youth crime commissioners could be appointed to represent areas of the West Midlands, it can be revealed today.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones has ruled out the idea of a single young person taking the role – saying it is 'too big a job'. But he revealed a board of youth commissioners could instead be appointed in a similar way to a youth parliament, with responsibility for a particular area.

The idea came from a summit of more than 200 young people organised by Mr Jones.

It comes after the Staffordshire Police force's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis will recruit a young person for the role in an apprentice-style interview later this year.

That followed the country's first youth crime commissioner Paris Brown resigning from her £15,000-a-year role from Kent Police, following a media storm over tweets she posted which were claimed to be homophobic, racist and violent.

Paris Brown

Mr Jones said he felt there would be too much pressure on one young person representing the whole West Midlands.

The posts, likely to be unpaid, would be appointed through interviews later in the year and Mr Jones said it was important to find the right people for the job.

He added: "It's absolutely clear that a single youth crime commissioner for the West Midlands couldn't be effective.

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"But we are consulting on having one or two from each area very similar to way youth MPs work. They would come together periodically as a youth and crime commission for the West Midlands, supplemented by for example clients of youth offending teams and more hard to reach sections of society.

"From my point of view this is not about what works for me, it's about what works for young people. The process here is taking a bit longer than some other areas but it is important that young people have a chance to be heard."

Mr Ellis said: "I want to find someone who has life experience, who will encourage their peers to engage with the police.

"It will be great experience and help them in their job prospects and hopefully prove invaluable to me as a commissioner."

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