Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl has welcomed a report by MPs which highlights police attitudes to children and young people.

Not least because many of the recommendations made by the all-party Parliamentary Group for Children are already being implemented in the county.

Mr. Surl, who has made ‘helping young people to become responsible adults’ one of the priorities of his police and crime plan said,

“The Police & Crime Plan priority of ‘young people becoming adults’ is all about the way we relate to young people and help them become responsible people.

“The Constabulary has four senior officers who are responsible for procedures involving children and young people. The police are heavily involved in projects aimed at the young and vulnerable like Pathfinder, Avenger Task Force, Outward Bound and Kingfisher all of which I provide funding.

“The Constabulary has reviewed and improved its stop and search procedures and has been working closely with the black, minority, ethnic (BME) communities in Gloucester.”

Publishing the findings of an 18-month inquiry, the committee of MPs said children and young people’s first contact with the police was vital in shaping their attitudes towards them. The report claimed that young people have a “profound lack of trust” in the police, bordering on fear in some cases, and urged changes to training, custody facilities and safeguarding approaches.

Mr Surl added,

“As well as that, the new custody building which is due to open early in the New Year has specific facilities for young people.

“A great deal of work has been done with young people and adults with dementia and also with young people on the autistic spectrum. Community placements for new recruits involve meeting with groups of young people

“Other officers are doing important work around safeguarding and also have a great deal of contact with young people through Scout groups etc.

“I believe we do much more in Gloucestershire with regard to building bridges with young people than in many other forces in the country. I hope the MPs report encourages similar innovation elsewhere.”