Lisburn Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) hosted a new innovative youth engagement programme in October. The event held at Lagan Valley Island addressed the many issues that youth face in today’s society including fears over social media and the internet, alcohol and drugs, personal safety, suicide and breaking the law.
Pictured at the Lisburn PCSP Youth Engagement Event are members of Lisburn PCSP, MLAs and PSNI representatives with some of the students that took part.
Speaking about the event, Chairman of Lisburn PCSP, Councillor Stephen Magennis, said: “The event was highly successful and a great opportunity for the youth of the city to come together to discuss the challenges that they face today. Young people from local post-primary schools took part in a valuable question and answer session with local MLAs, members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and senior officers from the PSNI. The young people also received a demonstration on an innovative new smart phone app called ‘Y-APP’. This app, designed for young people includes a guide for young people on topics such as anti-social behaviour, bullying, criminal damage, alcohol, drugs and substances, e-safety, suicide and the youth diversion scheme. I would encourage as many young people as possible to download this helpful app.”
Local journalist Donna Traynor facilitated the event and a total of six schools from the Council area took part, namely; Friends School, St. Colm’s High School, St. Patrick’s Academy, Laurelhill Community College, Forthill Integrated College and Lisnargarvey High School.
At the event there was a lively debate on various local policing issues and during the initial ice-breaker it was revealed that the biggest issue for the students in their area is anti-social behaviour, closely followed by the issue of drugs. However, it was also revealed that the majority of the students at the event felt safe in their area.
This youth engagement programme presented a great opportunity for the students to come face to face with local politicians and representatives from local policing and have their say.
Chairman of Lisburn PCSP, Councillor Stephen Magennis, concluded: "Lisburn PCSP is very keen to build on the success of this event and organise further engagement initiatives with the youth of the City. The views of young people on policing and community safety issues are very important to shaping local policing and community safety priorities and as a partnership the PCSP would like to work with local youth groups to achieve this."
The ‘Y-APP’ can be downloaded from the Google Play and App Store.