Police in Cheshire asked to help young people facing hate crimes and mental health issues

There are calls for police in Cheshire to do more to raise awareness of help for young people affected by things like hate crimes or online abuse.

It is one of the recommendations by the county's Youth Commission.

They heard from more than 2,000 young people across Cheshire, to produce a report highlighting the key issues for under 25s.

It suggests that hate crime, unhealthy relationships and the misuse of social media are some of the big areas of concern for the younger generation.

The report has been given to Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Keane.

It has recommendations to him, the county's police force, and partner agencies about how they can improve their services to ensure they are relevant and accessible to young people.

The Youth Commission found that social media can play a big part in the mental health of young people and many felt that negative content on sites like Facebook and Instagram was a contributing factor to poor mental health.

It is recommending that both Cheshire Police and the PCC should work with their partners to actively promote mental health through their social media channels to reduce stigma and make young people realise they are not suffering alone.

PCC David Keane and some members of Cheshire Youth Commission

It also found that there was a lack of understanding amongst young people of what a hate crime is and how to report it, which is leading it to recommend the constabulary do more to promote diversity to encourage more young people to report hate crime.

The report also details how young people do not fully understand what an unhealthy relationship looks like and the Youth Commission is recommending that the PCC and police force should do more to highlight the dangers of coercive relationships.

Other recommendations in the report include the police and PCC taking part in more engagement work with schools and colleagues to talk openly about their concerns.

David Keane said: “With more than a quarter of Cheshire residents currently under the age of 25, it’s incredibly important that young people are given the opportunity to have their say on key policing issues which have a huge impact on their everyday lives.

“The Youth Commission has done a fantastic job of capturing as many views as possible from our diverse communities in order to produce a report which is crucial in highlighting what matters most to our young people.

“I now look forward to working with the chief constable and other key partners to ensure the issues highlighted in this report are addressed and we improve the services we deliver to young people across Cheshire.”

There is more information about the Youth Commission on the commissioner’s website.

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