Lincolnshire Youth Commission puts forward 'pay later' taxi scheme ideas to keep young people safe at night
Lincolnshire Youth Commission has proposed a 'pay later' taxi scheme across the county to help young people stay safe at night.
The group, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner, has put forward a series of proposals that were discussed at a consultation which more than 1,300 16 to 25-year-olds from across the county attended.
The report produced by the Youth Commission has outlined six priority issues which they think should be tackled by the partners.
- Mental health – young people reported that depression and anxiety are very common and there are concerns about the difficulty of accessing support services. The actions suggested included the introduction of more therapy dogs, wellbeing clubs and break-out rooms in schools.
- Stopping abuse – responses suggested there is a fear of reporting crimes of abuse and a lack of knowledge of the services available. The commission suggested there should be better education about the types of abuse.
- Diversity and inclusion – young people felt the discrimination experienced by ethnic minorities as a result of Covid-19 continues to be a huge issue and a lack of understanding about the different types of disability. The launch of new events and festivals was suggested as a way of improving inclusion within communities.
- Safer Communities - the absence of reliable and frequent transport links has put many young people in unsafe situations when they are trying to get home at night. Many reported that streetlights in Lincolnshire are not on long enough and there were concern about an increase in drink spiking. The proposals put forward included developing discount or partnership schemes that allow a ‘pay later’ option for taxi services, review street lighting across Lincolnshire, create ‘Night Cafes’ for young people and hand out free ‘drink toppers’ or cup covers.
- Exploitation and violence affecting children and young people - there has been an alarming number of young people who have been reported carrying knives which has increased fears of more violent attacks. Piloting Amnesty Bins and offering self-defence classes as free after school clubs for young people to find alternative ways of feeling safe were put forward as possible solutions.
- Young people and their relationship with the police - young people feel that Lincolnshire Police don’t try to bond with them in the community regularly. This means that many young people only interact with the police if they are suspected of doing something wrong. There is a desire by young people to see the positive work the police are doing. Respondents said the police need to reach out to young people in the community through face-to-face engagement and social media platforms.
PCC Marc Jones said: "Once again the Youth Commission has carried out some remarkable work to bring the voices of young people to the fore.
"The proposals put forward are thought provoking, practical and creative and my office will be looking at them closely to see what we can action in the coming months.
"All of the young people involved can be proud of their efforts to ensure our residents remain, and feel, safe."
The work of the commission will now be developed further with the launch of the Stronger Voices Project which is led by the PCC’s Safer Together Team.
If you would like to register to take part, you can do that here.
The team will engage with those aged 11 to 21, who live across Lincolnshire and will include attendance at schools and community groups, as well as offering the opportunity to be a member of a core group meeting every two months to talk about local issues and influence change.