By KLTV Newsdesk –
A group of young people in West Yorkshire are stepping up to tackle serious violent crime in the county.
Nineteen new members aged between 14 and 25 have been recruited to the first-ever Youth Commission, launched in February 2023.
The Youth Commission will meet for the first time on Saturday, April 15th, and will be joined by West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE.
The group, which includes a diverse range of members, will have the opportunity to influence and inform decision-making and conduct critical research, providing a voice for local young people.
Leaders Unlocked coordinates the Youth Commission’s work in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).
Alison Lowe OBE said the young people would play a critical role in raising awareness among their peers and developing a partnership response to serious violence.
The Youth Commission is a part of the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan, which has inclusion at its core.
By championing young voices, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor hope to bring about community-level change.
Emily Blavins, Project Manager at Leaders Unlocked, said that the Youth Commission offers young people a rare and significant opportunity to be part of the conversation on issues that most affect them.
Blavins added that the Youth Commission will now conduct a peer-led “Big Conversation” with 14-25-year-olds across the county to ensure that critical decision-makers hear their views and experiences.
The new members of the Youth Commission will work alongside professionals to tackle violence and exploitation affecting their communities.
One of the Youth Commission members in North Yorkshire, Angus, said that the experience had been valuable, explaining that he got involved because he wanted to make a difference in society.
He added that the Youth Commission was also a great place to meet new people and had a say in society.
The West Yorkshire Youth Commission is expected to play a vital role in the fight against violent crime in the county.
Including young people’s voices in decision-making is crucial to create change and address issues affecting their communities.