Election gets underway

Voting is underway across the West Midlands as young people decide who they want standing up for their views and rights with the area's police force.  

In all, sixteen Youth Commissioners will be elected, two for each borough.  

The young people will be voted for by their peers and will represent them over a two year term. 

The Youth Commissioners must be aged 18 and under. Their job is to advise the Police and Crime Commissioner on issues affecting children and teenagers.

As well as speaking directly to the PCC the unpaid Youth Commissioners will liaise with police officers and decision makers about crime, justice and victim services.

They will also be asked to challenge the force when it fails to live up to expectations.

Voting is taking place online and in person at schools, youth centres and community centres.

Votes online will be cast using quick online polls where the individual will vote for their favourite candidate within their local area.

"I'm delighted to see that the polls have opened. This is the first time we have elected all 16 Youth Commissioners, enabling young people to have their say.

"The Youth Commissioners play a crucial role in keeping young generations safe," said the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson.

"It is their responsibility to keep me up to speed with the views, concerns and worries of young people.

"I rely on these Commissioners to tell me when problems emerge so I can ensure something is done.

"They are my eyes and ears on the ground and play a crucial role in keeping everyone safe."

Voting closes on 16th October. The results will be declared on 17th October.  

Each Neighbourhood Policing Unit will have two elected Youth Commissioners serving two year terms.

Connor Fowler has been a Youth Commissioner for the last two years, he said: "My time as a Youth Commissioner has been invaluable.

"It is great to be the voice in your community that represents other young people.

"I've presented in front of the PCC and Chief Constable, been on regional TV and have had hundreds of conversations with people of my age.

"The role really empowers young people to challenge our police service and to stand up to those around them.

Youth Commissioners will be asked to consult young people on the PCC's Police and Crime Plan, liaise with other teenagers and children and build relationships with the police.

 

There will be two Youth Commissioners for each of the following policing units:

  1. Birmingham West
  2. Birmingham East
  3. Sandwell
  4. Coventry
  5. Dudley
  6. Solihull
  7. Wolverhampton
  8. Walsall 

 

Coventry candidates

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsCOV

Megan Colloff, 14 years old: "As an approachable Youth Representative and WMP Cadet I believe I could listen, empathise and understand the issues young people are facing today and I would be proud to be part of the connection that brings about changed attitudes in young minds."

Husnaa Mota, 16 years old: "I can bring diversity to the role and team as I am a young Muslim female who wears Hijab. They may not be other women in Hijab on the police force but that does not mean I will shy away from pursuing a career in this area. I will lead the way for people like me, or from ethnic minorities who feel they are not represented."

Tanzilabanu Shaikh, 17 years old: "By being a Youth Commissioner I will be able to get opinions of young people and what they think about crime. As a young person I will be able to talk to them on a different level that the Police may not be able to do. By appointing me I will be able not only support, but inform local police officers and the PCC's office on what matters to young people and inform how to work with them."

Deepti Sapoka, 17 years old: "Attending youth council has given me a chance to meet the people related to crime such as the victim, which has increased my background knowledge to how and why the crime occurs. This has also allowed me to think from a balanced point of view and not just of an onlooker, the victim or the perpetrator, therefore I believe I am a suitable candidate for Youth PCC."

Niamh Donnelly, 15 years old: "I believe when we can make communications  between the authorities and teenagers we can build trust and prevent unwanted issues. To be Youth Police Crime Commissioner would mean having the opportunity to take an active role in my community and improving relations between young people and the police."

William Sutherland, 15 years old: "I currently sit on the Coventry Youth Council and I'm passionate about making change in my local area. The things that I think affect people in my area come from an increase in knife crime and the use of drugs. These things affect young people and I would like to work to make a change in Coventry for people to feel safer and have their voices heard."

 

Birmingham East

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsBHAMEAST

Anaya Pala, 15 years old: "I would be privileged to be working as a WMP PCC Youth Commissioner.  This opportunity would allow me to represent the youths of today, engage, motivate and be an integral point of contact for my area. I thrive to inspire and be a good role model, thus improve the local communities by encouraging positives changes, sharing ideas and offer support so we can be a strong and vibrant community."

Hunza Hussain, 13 years old: "If I were to become a WMP PCC Youth Commissioner I can explain what issues not only affect my local area but also what issues affect my community such as racism or discrimination. I believe that by building my experience from an early age I will gain a better understanding of the problems that affect young people on a daily basis and how these issues can be resolved or dealt with."

Summer Butler, 14 years old: "The reason why I would like to get involved in this project is that I have serious concerns with the anti-social behaviours that occur within my area but also I have personally been through some issues that have affected my life but now I have overcome them and I feel I have a voice that will be heard as I have personal experience and I am passionate about making a change within my community."

 

Birmingham West 

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsBHAMWEST

Ahlan Saleh, 17 years old: "I would like to be a youth commissioner to learn new skills, improve and challenge myself and meet new people and build my confidence. I feel I can offer a positive vibe to the group, bring new ideas and would work to an elite level to support my team members. I am also polite, hardworking and productive. I would be dedicated to be a part of your organisation."

Navera Parwez, 15 years old: "We as young people should be able to control and change things that affect us which is exactly why I think this role is perfect for me. I am very ambitious and determined and enjoy challenging myself in areas I may not be comfortable with. I am able to contribute ideas which I believe will help young people in the West Midlands."

Samson Iyanuoluwa Ayodeji, 17 years old: "As a young person who has lived most of his life under the influence of different circumstances, which has limited my abilities and resulted in some bad behaviour during my early years. I have now evolved into this humble, compassionate and loving being. I would like to become a WMP PCC youth Commissioner; mainly for my interest in understanding young people and the reason for their actions."

 

Sandwell candidates

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsSAND

Kareena Ratti, 15 years old: "I'd like to be a youth crime commissioner because I believe that the youth should have a voice over issues affecting their lives and community. I also feel I can represent youths from a variety of diverse backgrounds as I come from an Asian background therefore feel I can also represent under-represented diverse groups. I feel the key to becoming a voice for the youths is being open, honest, transparent and fair."

Raihannah Kulthoom, 16 years old:
"The opportunity of becoming a Youth Commissioner is an important and valuable one. Having done it for 6 months already, I have been able to experience some of the things you would have to do and have thoroughly enjoyed it. To finish my term would be amazing and to help me to branch out more and become even more confident."

Daejon Johnson, 15 years old: "We don't have places to express our creativity, and we don't have a good relationship with the police force because of it. They class large groups of young people as gangs, but that only stereotypes young people with a lot of potential with nowhere to develop it. I can help change this by providing solutions that would work, and improving ones that aren't already productive. It is more than just stopping crime, it is eradicating boredom within our community." 

Hammad Khalid, 15 years old: "I want to become a youth commissioner for my peers because I believe I have the wealth of expertise to be able to represent the youngsters needs and believe in fair play and equality. If I am elected, on my first day as a youth commissioner I will arrange a meeting with all the stakeholders in Sandwell and share my plan on how I will work with the youngsters to make a better, safe and pleasant Sandwell for everyone. Hammad Khalid, working tirelessly to make Sandwell a lovely place for the everyone."

Tanishq Khanduri, 16 years old: "As a bilingual individual, speaking both English and Punjabi, I am able to communicate with different communities, and listen to the needs of those in the same situation as me. This also brings the communities together as it may be that they share similar concerns, which I am able to listen and feedback to those who can help solve them. I can bring a change by voicing my thoughts and ideas on a panel such as the Youth Commissioners Board, pushing creative and innovative solutions from a young person's perspective."

 

Dudley canndidates

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsDUD

Emerson Hanslip, 16 years old: "I think that becoming a Youth Police Commissioner is an amazing opportunity for me to serve my local area. My time volunteering has provided me with first-hand experience with local issues, some of those being issues related to crime. I have also met with local people during talks and canvasing during local elections. As a Youth Commissioner, I can ensure you that I will exercise my passion to the best of my ability."

Morgan Martin, 15 years old: "I am a very sociable and outgoing mature young adult. In my spare time I have been an active member of Dudley Youth Council for the past 2 years. This gave me the opportunity to run make your mark at my place of education last year and I am in the process of running it again this year. I have also been a member of Dudley Police Cadets since it started about 6 months ago. Both have really helped my confidence and my social skills."

Jayden Russon, 16 years old: "I have understanding of how it feels to sit on either side of the fence and I am passionate about any task that I may undertake. I am not going to hide issues from anyone and will strive to deal with issues quickly and efficiently. I feel that I can add a unique insight to the minds of children and young people and help to make the west midlands safer and a nicer place to live!"

Ben Corfield, 15 years old: "If I was to describe myself I'm a very proactive and conscientious young man who is regularly engaged in the community representing Dudley Youth Council. I think that with the vast amount of youth crime, young people of today find it easier to connect and express and share their problems with a strong individual from the similar age group. I believe that the life skills and leadership qualities I have obtained will help connect first hand with young people influenced from crime and give me an advantage in tackling these problems in the nearby future"

Georgia Whitehouse, 16 years old: "Being a Youth Commissioner would mean so much to me.  Having completed my work experience at Brierley Hill Police Station and being a member of Dudley Police Cadets for around a year now, I feel that this would be a great step up.  I want to show everyone that you can achieve if you put your mind to it and I would like to inspire more young people to get involved and help their community as a whole."

 

Walsall candidates

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsWALS

Asad Kalang, 15 years old: "I want to become a Youth Commissioners as I want to bring change to my community for everyone and I hope  to help break the barrier between young people and the police by acting as a liaison so we can achieve our common goal of a safe Walsall for everyone. I am extremely passionate for change in Walsall, and with the opportunity of youth commissioners I believe that I can have a positive impact on our community and that we will be able to create a safer environment for everyone."

Mariam Sohail, 18 years old: "My reason for wishing to become  a PCC Youth commissioner are simple. I have seen the impact of their work growing up, and I have since always been amazed at their engagement in my school and local area. Becoming a Youth Commissioner would allow me to champion and amplify the voices of young people in my local area, inspiring them to be confident in voicing and expressing themselves."

Harvind Grewal, 17 years old: "I have always believed that it is crucial for me to involve myself within my community, my Walsall. Walsall means of immense value to me, it is where I was brought up, studied and achieved to my fullest, so it is vital for me to give back to my community by helping it, by taking on a role which will further help younger people by becoming their voice and their representative. It would be a real honour to be worthy of such a role; it would be a privilege for me to give back to Walsall the confidence, empowerment and encouragement that Walsall gave me. Being Youth Commissioner is all about supporting our young people to improve and excel and report the adversities that may affect us." 

 

Solihull candidates

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsSOL

Thomas Gilleran, 16 years old: "I am a confident and hard-working young person who wants to help make a difference and shape change not just for me and the people surrounding me but also the next generations of young people who succeed us. From an early age I have wanted to become a police officer and now I have the opportunity to be involved in an organisation that inspires me and make a difference to how they influence the lives of other people both with my beliefs and respect for the police service and for those who don't."

Becky Brown, 17 years old:
"Within this role I would be able to understand the young members of our community, listen to their concerns and be their voice within meetings.  I would also like to provide an alternative option for them which would prevent them from turning to crime. I would like to become WMP PCC Youth Commissioner as I believe youth crime could be prevented through education of the young people and I believe that I have the qualities to succeed within this position."

Rebecca Stack, 17 years old: "I am a firm believer in doing the right thing for our community and I am willing to assist in helping the young people  find a better focus in life and therefore a stable future. I am honest and hardworking.  I enjoy the challenge of new experiences and therefore feel I could contribute to this position."

Aidan Awaan, 15 years old: "Issues affecting my local area are: Youth and Knife Crime as well as Drugs being used and sold by young people.
I understand and get on with almost everyone that I meet. I would like to be a Youth Commissioner as I see a lot of my old friends going down routes that aren't good for them, this could also have happened to me and I would like to make a change to it happening to others."

John Harvey, 15 years old: "The issues I see in my area are: Youth Crime, Drugs and Violence. I feel I work really well with others and focus on the tasks set. I communicate well and never shy away from being the voice others need to hear. This puts me in a good position to represent other people in my area."

Lily Spink, 15 years old: "Issues affecting my community are: Cyberbullying and Youth Crime. I like to contribute to as many events and activities as I can. I listen and respect other people's opinions. Some may say I have a small voice, but I can voice my opinions and support other people."

Levi Pincombe, 15 years old: "My personal experiences make me relatable to other young people in my area. Some of the biggest issues in my area are young people carrying weapons and using drugs. This is also driven by money in the community. I would like to be a youth commissioner for Solihull."

Skye Davies, 14 years old: "I care about my local community and the people in it. I would like to represent young people in Solihull and have a number of ideas to help improve Solihull and the local area. I am keen to build up a portfolio of skills for my future career, which I hope will be interesting and worthwhile. I would relish the opportunity to work with people of all ages to make Solihull a better place."

 

Wolverhampton candidates

How to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/youthcommsWOLV

Brandi Thompson, 17 years old: "I would like to apply for the position of youth police crime commissioner. I believe I would perform exceptional at this role: I'd be able to translate the meetings and project the message to the rest of the members of the youth council. I'm confident in my communication and listening skills. I'm comfortable working with adults. I'm committed to doing the extra research on gun/knife crime related to young people. I have an actual interest in the topic around crime and would be very excited to have the role and I'm willing to learn new skills. I'm easy to talk to so if any of you had any concerns about crime in your area, you can rely on me to respectfully represent your view." 

Khatira Hakimi, 17 years old: "I would like to apply for the position of youth police crime commissioner, as I believe I would be quite suitable for this role as I am organised, hard-working and have good communication skills. I am very good at listening to other people and their views without judging them or becoming emotionally attached, as I have been trained to do so as a leader of the peer mentoring system for my school. I am good at handling myself in different situations and putting my views across the right way. Over the past year I have been working closely with professionals such as Compton Hospice. I have good leadership skills, having been to many leadership workshops in the past. I want to be a lawyer hopefully one day, so this would an amazing opportunity for me, also I have always been interested in working with police. This role will help enhance my skills."