Commissioner tackles cyber bullying

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Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has pledged to do more to combat cyber bullying following a youth engagement event.

Commissioner Charles attended Erewash Youth Forum at Friesland School in Sandiacre on Thursday April 10 to meet local children aged between 11 and 16 and find out how they feel about policing and community safety.

The forum, which is a partnership project between Erewash Borough Council, Derbyshire County and nine schools and colleges in the Erewash area, is aimed at giving young people an opportunity to contribute to local decision making and ensure the younger voice is heard within policing and local authorities.

Commissioner Charles has drafted a Youth Plan which sets out a raft of measures to engage with youngsters in the county over the next year including the 2014 Youth Survey and School Grants scheme.

The Commissioner was also asked what he believed to be the biggest challenges facing young people today and his thoughts on how youngsters are portrayed in the media.

Commissioner Charles said: “The Youth Forum event was very beneficial and really opened my eyes to a whole range of issues affecting young people today, particularly cyber bullying which is obviously very much a cause for concern. The survey carried out to explore this issue raised some worrying statistics, including the fact that some pupils feel too frightened to tell anyone about their ordeal and also that a large proportion of young people have access to computers with no parental controls in place.

“Engagement of this nature is very useful in highlighting areas which warrant further attention and I intend to focus very carefully on what can be done to raise awareness of cyber bullying in the future so that we can all work together to eradicate it. I was very impressed by the attitude of Forum members and the pertinent questions raised during the meeting. The event typified just how valuable it is to look to young people to help us understand the modern threats facing our communities.”