Child sexual exploitation, drugs & alcohol, youth empowerment and knife crime were explored as part of the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioners youth conference. The event attracted over 140 secondary school students, teachers and youth groups from across the county.
The annual event which this year took place at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester was opened by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill and the Deputy Chief Constable, James Vaughan with speakers including Kamal Hyman, former Youth MP for Peterborough and 2015 National Entrepreneur of the Year.
Actors from Alter Ego Theatre Company gave their production of Chelsea’s Choice, a highly emotive drama which tells the story of a young girl experiencing grooming and sexual exploitation.
The conference focused on key issues affecting the county’s young people with experts from Dorset Police Safe Schools and Communities Team and the Shire Alcohol & Drugs Outreach Worker Service. Information stands from the Safe Partnership, Active Dorset, Space Youth Project, Victim Support, Weldmar Hospice Care and Dorset Youth Council Enables were also available.
Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The second annual PCC Youth Conference was a great success and feedback from the young people who attended was really positive.”
“As Police and Crime Commissioner it is my job to reach out to all areas of the community and engage on policing, crime and community safety issues. This event forms part of our comprehensive programme of work with young people and we will be looking to refresh our Youth Police and Crime Plan early next year.”
Speaking about the conference, one young person said: “The day was epic fun and I’ve learned a lot. The workshops were amazing and the drama was very realistic – it really makes you think and feel bad for the people that it happens to.”