RCMP YOUTH STRATEGY:
Excerpt from the Report, "Consideration For A National RCMP Youth Strategy" Reid-MacNevin,S.A., Sauvageau,J., Fitch,L., Hubbard,B., and Pinsonneault,C. (2000)
The following selection is taken from the report which outlines a youth perspective on strategies to enhance police- youth relations. The comments are in response to the question, "What advice would you offer the police to help improve police-youth relations and help reduce the incidence of youth related crime?"
Police appear very threatening to other people, imagine how they make children feel when they approach them. I think that just by setting up a relationship (a good one) then maybe the youths would not want to deceive the relationship that the police and youth have.
I would suggest more one on one programs and alyhough it may be unrelistic it would be a good idea for the police to first sit down in a classroom / gym/ church group / local hangout and even if the efforts is not two-sided, let the kids know that you are not only there to catch them when they make mistakes but also when they need help.
Hire a team of young people (19+) who wish to become police officers. Give them a job for the summer in community policing division so that young people on the street can feel more comfortable around the ‘uniform’. Younger officers may not seem so intimidating and will improve police-youth relations. This, in turn will reduce the incident of youth related crime.
more recreational programs to keep youth away from things that help create
crime. Youth like to feel like
The number one factor for improving police-youth relations and reducing and reducing youth crime is to eliminate youth stereotypes by police and vice-versa of police by youth. Coming from a smaller town of about thirteen thousand, I remember when we (youths) would all hang around together at the town square, and police would drive-by, and often stop and ask, ‘hey what kind of things are you guys up to,” or “have you guys been drinking, etc..Tonight?” By just assuming we were up to something wrong, made us think that many police were jerks. Furthermore, we never helped the cause by being rude and obnoxious. So the main issue is to get the youth to understand where the police are coming from and to get the police to see youth as people just trying not to go insane and not see them as delinquents. Furthermore, allowing the youth to express themselves such as having graffiti competitions like the one we talked about in class, or having rec centers, tennis, basketball courts, or skate (board) parks are a good way to keep youths out of mischief and create good police-youth relations.
tell a youth ‘No’. Given them an opportunity to give their sincere
opinion on the problem, their reasons for their actions and their own solutions.
Then let them know their choices and reassure them that something will
of all I think that for the youth there needs to be less fear of the police.
Whatever others say when ever a police
advice that I would offer is for police to be more interactive with youth.
Personally the only contact that I’ve had with police has been bad and
nerve-racking. I’m still intimidated when I’m around them because
I can’t relate to
when the nice weather comes get out of the cars and go talk to kids on
the week nights or any opportunity.
what is being done at the high school is great. When I went there I found
it to be beneficial getting to know the police. Perhaps more community
events, where the police are involved not only on a policing basis, but
I was growing up in a small community the RCMP, the younger ones were always
around, they would stop and
Police should be aware of what people have to confront these days, treat
young people like people, not
that the police should be going into the educational system at the primary
level an onwards. With frequent
would be the first major step. This is vital in inproving any type
of relationship. Police should go into
It is important to not for police-youth relation, may youth fear the police as mean and that they are only around to cause trouble. Education is important and is needed to show that the police are out to make society healthier and safer; they are not out there to make life miserable.
by making more social activities that the youth are interested in.
So they do not have to commit crimes to make
that many youth feel threatened by the police because they feel like the
police see them as trouble. That was
officers need to work with youth. Kind of like a hands on basis.
A lot of youth have great ideas but do not feel
increase the presence of police in the school system. Increase their
visits, so they will be coming more often there to give the annual drug
talk and coming to dances to catch underage drinkers. The more the
youth come in
a personal account, I got involved with Crime Prevention, and I found that
the police officers were not so
advice I would give is to go to all the school from elementary, middle
and high school and talk to the students
have the police go to seminars to learn how to communicate effectively
with teenagers; so as not to act so
I would suggest that maybe you could have a youth police force. They could ride around town, have their own bicycles, radios, uniforms, flashlights, pepper spray. You could also take teens for a ride-along’s with the police to show them what happens on the street. The youth police force in Pictou County, Nova Scotia seems to work well.
Talk to the kids more, keep them aware of what is going on in the community. Visit the schools more often, have people that the kids look up to speaking more often at the schools.
information sessions at churches and community centres for parents to try
and get their children involved,
Youth not involved in criminal activity find it difficult to have friendly relations with police officers because they fear that they are being looked down upon or suspected of deviant behaviour. I think the police should also acknowledge the good kids and they would realize that their relationship would improve. Trust is the key. If they already have the attention of the officers who have authority than maybe their deviant attempts to gain recognition would be unnecessary.
making youth feel they are to make trouble. By this I mean, don’t
label the trouble makers - although they might
liked your idea of ‘Spray no to Violence’. More projects along this line
could be of use. When you get the
I think that the police should go out more with the youth. Try being friends with these youth. One way the police can make it easier for youth to approach them, is to not always dress in uniform and act so authoritative. I know when I was a teen when an officer would talk to us even if it was nothing - we could not see past the uniform.
tell the police to set up more places and activities that kids can do.
Thus, this can occupy some of their free
Make yourself more visible to children in a setting that is less threatening than on a street corner or while on duty. I know you guys are very busy but perhaps information sessions about what you do (possibility in schools). Children love to learn about different professions and I believe if they know more about its their relations may be better. Also, I know I had a basketball coach who was a police officer, and seeing him involved with extracurricular activities in the neighbourhood helped his relations with other children.
may be far-fetched however I feel that police-youth relations suffer since
youth (junior high school) have a crazy
To improve police-youth relations, I would continue holding events that involve the participation of youth under supervision and approval of police, much like what you’ve done with 'spray no to violence’ campaign.
If events that targeted crimes specifically committed by the youth of Fredericton were held, then relations between youth and police would improve and incidence of youth related crime would go down. Of course, I would think that it takes a lot of planning to create the ‘spray no to violence’ campaign, so maybe it would move things along if youth helped to volunteer in the creating and planning of these events.
The majority of young offenders came from troubled homes, maybe their parents had previous criminal charges, maybe the youth came from a troubled or broken home, a foster child not having a proper home/ family environment that every child deserves. I feel that this is not the child’s fault because they are a product of what they came from. So I feel that proper education by school workers, police officers, lawyers, psychologists, counsellors should all join together to help educate these children. They should not be attacked or threatened they need to feel safe like they have never felt before. They need to trust someone to talk to. Express what they are feeling. I do not feel that these kids want to harm others because it is something to do it is because they do not know better. Get these kids off the streets, have more social groups with positive role models like the police, social workers, lawyers.
For this situation, I would advise for more youth programs (free of charge, so that youth with low finances could attend) where the police could volunteer in teaching youth about crime, have activities, and sports to also ensure it was fun. They could be taught what to do if in bad situations and how they can get help if needed.
think youth and police will ever be great friends but I believe there are
cracks in the armour. Police will always
Talk to the kids more often and get involved in youth activities like playing ball in the summer and organizing trips with the children so that they know that the police in their region are concerned about their well-being.
that getting youth involved in crime prevention methods and getting their
input can go a long way. If they feel a part of something collective,
like working towards safer communities, they will more likely to abide
by rules that they
say, maybe if there was a place that the kids could go once or twice a
month a month to play games, interact
suggest that the police get more involved in what
with a lot of where I work at the Oromocto Teen Centre. The majority
of our kids that come in are a little on
My advice to help improve police-youth relations would be to somehow find a way to get rid of the stereotype that cops are always picking young people because there out later, and in the certain areas, even though they’re not doing anything wrong and they have every right to be in that place.
I feel that different ideas such as the ‘Spray no to Violence’ campaign is great for kids to appreciate things in a different way. Group activities are usually good so kids can get together and do positive things. A lot of youth have problems fitting in or at home so a group for these teens to do positive things would be a good idea. It may take a while for them to get used to it, but if they open up about their feelings they may not be so negative.
I worked for the police all summer in Saint John and they are working hard on starting some sort of community policing system but I do not believe they are going about it the right way. I think that the officers have to be out in the community more, walking and talking to the people, playing with the kids, less time in the cars and in the stations.
I remember in elementary school, when the police used to come give presentations or demonstrations, all the kids would love it! If the children are taught that from an early age that the police are nice people who are there to help them, I think it would help a lot.
for youth related crime, I believe cities and towns need to stop ignoring
their youth and expecting them to entertain
police can only get stronger ties with youth by
one way to improve police-youth relations is to make the police more available
to the youth. Greater presence
At home, I am a volunteer with Island Alternative Measures. Briefly, it is an alternative for youth 12-17 to going through the formal court process, upon the selection through criteria. There is still a hearing involved but instead of judges there are mediators. The victim, the youth in conflict with the law and a parent must attend; and the arresting police officer is invited but only on the rare occasion does the officer attend. However, when they attend there is a more informal rapport established between the youth and the officer. I think what happens is that with the officer being more relative to the youth, the youth begins to feel less intimidated by the officer, we often leave the hearing feeling and often, in many cases, the youth did not re-offend. Therefore, I think when a police officer arrests a youth, he/she should establish and informal rapport (talk about hockey, teachers at school, etc.) with the youth making he/she feel more comfortable and more of a bonding experience with the officer - it may make the youth feel like the officer is their friend and will not betray him, by breaking the law.