Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Independent Office for Police Conduct calls on young people to share their experiences of policing

The impact of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) Youth Panel, working with Leaders Unlocked, has been growing steadily since it was founded in 2018. Their report, published last year, suggested that policing, and experiences of policing, were polarising some young people and contributing to a feeling of isolation.

Now, the IOPC Youth Panel is launching a survey into young people’s experiences and priorities relating to policing. If you’re aged between 13-25 and live in England or Wales, please tell us what you think(link is external).

The survey will help us to better understand young people’s attitudes towards the police and the police complaints system, and aims to bring about positive change and improve confidence in policing. To make real change happen, we need to hear from as many young people as possible.

Questions include:

  • What do you think the priorities for policing should be right now?
  • Do you think police forces treat young people fairly?
  • Do you know how to complain if you’re unhappy about the way you’ve been treated by the police?
  • What can be done to improve trust in the police?

Ahmed, from London, joined the Youth Panel “to amplify the voices of young people in the criminal justice system. We need the police to be aware that, now we’re coming out of a global pandemic, young people are struggling with all sorts of issues, including their mental health. By reflecting the voices of young people right across the country, this survey can help us to make sure that marginalised communities are supported to overcome the issues they are having with policing. Your voice can make a difference.”

Naqi said he didn’t know the IOPC existed until he joined the Youth Panel: “That’s why we need to improve communications and outreach in different areas across England and Wales.

“It’s important to get over any initial negativity, the feeling that not enough effort is being made. To overcome judgement and lack of understanding, we need to understand lots of different points of view. We need to hear from young people from diverse backgrounds, religions and races. We need to hear from neuro-divergent people, and those suffering with mental health issues. Only then can we make sure that all young people’s voices are heard and taken into account.”

Amania, the Youth Panel project co-ordinator at Leaders Unlocked, pointed out: “There is a huge issue around lack of understanding and bias, whether conscious or unconscious, which relates to race, protected characteristics, neuro-diversity and additional needs like mental health. It is totally unfair to judge expressions of trauma against one another without any attempt at understanding people’s individual needs.

“The IOPC and the police have the opportunity to lead by example by working with us, the Youth Panel, to establish a culture that recognises the psychological impact of traumatic incidents. Young people need to see that steps are being taken to create a non-toxic, non-negative policing culture.

“We have the opportunity, now, to be the voice that actively makes that change. Please add your voice to the IOPC Youth Panel survey, and make sure we can be at the forefront of conversations over the future of policing.”

IOPC Director General, Michael Lockwood, said:

“The Youth Panel are central to all our work and continue to influence policing for the better. They have been working hard to improve awareness of both our organisation and the wider police complaints system, and have advised and constructively challenged us in our important work on racial discrimination.

“If you’re aged between 13 and 25, please fill in this survey and share your ideas to help improve confidence in policing and the police complaints system.”

Have your say here

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