The child-centred policing strategy has been developed with children and young people from schools and youth groups across Gwent.
It aims to:
- Build better relationships and breakdown barriers between Gwent Police and children and young people.
- Prevent children and young people from being drawn into crime and the criminal justice system.
- Improve criminal justice outcomes for children and young people.
- Enhance services for child victims of crime and those exposed to domestic abuse.
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “A core role for policing is to protect the vulnerable in society and this includes children and young people who can be vulnerable through their age or circumstances. Gwent Police believe that no child should have to suffer harm, violence, abuse or exploitation.
“We have talked and listened to young people who have had experiences of the police to understand how we can improve the way we engage with them. This new strategy will help us to embed this learning across the force, ensuring that the safety and well-being of children and young people is at the forefront of decision making for every officer and member of staff.”
Children and young people worked with Gwent Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent to scrutinise the strategy before it was finalised.
They have also helped to create posters that explain to young people what they can expect from their police force, which will be displayed in schools and youth settings.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “I am committed to ensuring that all children and young people in Gwent can live their lives safely. If they do have to deal with the police, either as a victim of crime or as an offender, they must be treated fairly, with compassion and respect.
“Gwent Police has been making important steps towards a greater child-centred policing approach in recent years and this strategy formalises this work, putting children and young people at the heart of all future decision making.”