Young people link with police to support community cohesion

Date Released - 23/11/2022

YOUNG people in Tameside have joined forces with the police to help improve relations and their community.

Tameside Youth Council has established a Young People’s IAG (Independent Advisory Group) to support local policing and community cohesion.

They hold regular meetings with Tameside Police to share experiences and local knowledge. The latest meeting was held at Ashton Police Station with Neighbourhood Inspector Abed Hussain and Terry Finn, a Community Cohesion Officer for Tameside Council who started the main Tameside Independent Advisory Group in 2020.

They discussed the barriers between young people and the police with the youth council representatives leading an open and honest conversation and discussing how they can work together to improve relations.

Also on the agenda were issues around Operation Treacle and how to stay safe during Bonfire Night and around fireworks.

They also talked about shops selling illegal vapes as well as alcohol and cigarettes to under-age children, what’s being done to tackle the issue and how young people can stay safe around these products. And they discussed barriers around vetting that stop young people applying for vacancies in the police.

The main Tameside Independent Advisory Group is a statutory group made of volunteer members of the public, independent of the police, from across the diverse Tameside community including Community Champions and faith groups. Members meet regularly to foster positive relationships and provide community confidence and cohesion. It received a commendation citation at the Greater Manchester Force Awards Ceremony for its work.

Tameside Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Bill Fairfoull, who has responsibility for Children and Families, said: “I’d like to thank the members of Tameside Youth Council and everyone involved in establishing the Young People’s IAG and facilitating these meetings. It’s fantastic that our young people are keen to be involved in supporting our police and these close links will benefit everyone involved for the good of our communities.”

Tameside Council Executive Member for Town Centres and Communities Councillor Vimal Choksi said: “I’m delighted that Tameside IAG is going from strength to strength and establishing the young people’s group will help foster closer relations with our local police to support community cohesion.”

Tameside Superintendent Chris Foster said: “It is crucial that we engage with our communities and listen to the voices of the young people within. They can bring fresh ideas, input and feedback which we can learn from at the same time as helping them to keep safe and educate them as to our core roles. If we engage with young people in this way then hopefully it will break down any perceived barriers and enable us to be seen more as part of the community who are there to help and keep people safe.

“This is a great initiative and I fully support it in order to get more young people involved in understanding our community and feeding their thoughts and opinions back to us.”