Two carer leavers gave a presentation to police staff at Sussex Police headquarters as part of their Time to Think briefing. This was an opportunity for care leavers to talk about their own experiences in care and also their experiences with the police.
Young people’s thoughts on the briefing:
Liam: I thought the presentation went really well and there was lots of good questions that the people came back with. It is good to know that there is a team in the police who set this meeting up and want to make changes.
Being able to tell my own real life story has helped to broaden their minds about how to deal with young people in care and how they manage future call out’s particularly when called to a children’s home.
I was able to give them some ideas about how to support young people in similar situation to us – feel’s good!
Today I was given the most scary yet amazing opportunity. I got to go to Sussex Police headquarters and talk in front of 60 police officers and staff about my personal experience with the police and also about how we can move forward to improve the relationship between the police and young people in the care system. Having all these police officers asking you questions and thanking YOU for opening their eyes was quite overwhelming. Not only this but I got to meet the chief constable and thank him in person for the letter he wrote me a month a so ago. Honestly, What an exciting day. I really hope I can continue to have involvement with the police and other authorities to tackle unjust criminalization and improve the lives of society’s most vulnerable!! That is all
Today has been a great experience and a big step forward in the progression of positive police engagement with young people in care and care leavers.
Taking this forward:
It feels good to have been part of this, and I now want to have more engagement and be more involved and develop a relationship with the police and how we can help them to support young people better.
Key messages for the Police from the briefing:
- Keep more of an open mind when dealing with young people in care
- Put more information on their PNC database that informs them about the individual circumstances
Outcomes from the briefing:
- It was good to be invited to the MASH briefing to see how the police work in a multiagency.
- Offer of two admin apprentices with the police for care leavers
- It was good to hear the police have already made changes to the training content for when they deal with sexual abuse cases and support the individuals better.