I will be taking the opportunity in this week’s Community Safety Blog to highlight and encourage the younger members of the local community to complete the recently launched Youth Survey. The survey is targeted at 11- 18 years olds who live, work, go to school, attend local clubs or activities, or are connected with Camelon and Tamfourhill in any way. Please complete the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SMLBBQ8 and if you are just a tad slightly older like me then please signpost your family and friends who do meet the criteria to the above link. (I can provide paper copies if required, so please let me know and I will get them out to you). There is a prize of 4 cinema tickets for the lucky person whose completed survey wins the prize draw.
This survey will contribute to the wider community safety strategy and the consultation will be supported by focus groups, my intention is to also carry out some action focus groups with existing local youth groups like The Conservation Volunteers, Tamfourhill Community Hub and Community Learning and Development, the secondary schools and P7 classes and I will also be looking to engage with unattached young people who are maybe hanging about our streets or who gather at various locations.
I know there is already much valuable youth work going on in the communities, but resources are tight at the moment and young people have had their own challenges to deal with over this long COVID crises. It is essential to our local strategy that young people’s concerns and needs are integral to our community planning and development. I have existing plans to engage with and involve young people with the development of a new MUGA at Easter Carmuirs Park and I hope to also build upon the Outdoor learning and Conservation work already being supported by TCV. I am aware of the valuable and massively popular youth activities supported by TTRO at the Tamfourhill Community Hub and that is another youth work opportunity I would like to further support and develop. I would also acknowledge the need to provide activities and learning opportunities for the younger age groups and the plan will be to look at ways of further supporting the provisions currently being provided by the Woodcraft Folk and the Junior Youth Club at the Tamfourhill Community Hub. My initial work in this respect has to be to engage with the local young people, listen to their issues and concerns and support them to develop new local opportunities. This survey will be an important part of that process so please encourage our young people to complete it.
I know that community safety is something that concerns the younger people in the community, and they have to consider their safety Online, often deal with bullying when they are out and about, peer pressure can be extreme and risk taking a worrying concern to youngsters and parents alike. I would ask you to consider this very sobering fact: 16- 24-year olds are the most likely to be victims of violent crime and crimes against their property, they make up 5.8% of all crimes recorded in Scotland. This is the biggest proportion for all the age groups in Scotland. The recorded figures therefore strongly suggest that as a person gets older, they are statistically less likely to become a victim of violent or property crime. The good new however is that crimes like fire raising and vandalism are currently at their lowest since 1976. (victim support Scotland 2018/19)
My aim is that this youth survey and other consultation work will facilitate new opportunities for young people to make positive contributions to their local community ,and that they can be supported to take responsibility for developing their own projects, activities and community facilities.
Young people are not the problem they are a big part of the solution.