At the IARS office warming party Detective Chief Inspector Eric Phelps gave a speech and praised the Youth Advisory Board for their hard work on recent projects. The MPS and the Youth Advisory Board continue to work together in partnership on several projects. This is a short summary of what has been happening.

The Youth Advisory Board was approached by the Police’s Operation Blunt ahead of the Halloween period to carry out youth-led research. Every year around Halloween and Fireworks night the police face an increased number of serious youth violence incidents.

The Youth Advisory Board (YAB), coordinated by Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS), undertook a short research exercise to find out about young people’s experiences of youth violence during the Halloween period. This information gathering exercise was undertaken in a short period of time and was designed to provide a snapshot of the problem rather than an in depth analysis of trends and causes of youth violence during the Halloween period. The full report can be accessed here:

One of the YAB members, Tushay Dolen, has written a brief description of her involvement with these projects to indicate the importance and meaning this has to her:

“My name is Tushay Dolen, I’m 17 years old and a member of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB). The YAB have been developing their research project, on youth violence at transport hubs over the summer period and into October. The research itself is very valuable to a number of organisations but I also think it’s important in showing other young people that their voice is not lost and there are organisations out there such as IARS that help get your voice heard and bring about change.

In July we met with the Safer Transport Command. The Metropolitan Police Service introduced us to the Safer Transport Command to help us get hold of police intelligence to direct our research. The Safer Transport Command gave us a presentation on eight transport hubs across London providing us with statistics about the number of young people living in the area, the number of schools in each area as well as crime rates. Following the presentation we together decided which hubs looked like the most interesting hotspots for youth violence. The information that was presented at the meeting was very interesting and some of the hubs that are hotspots for youth violence surprised us. We established that we could get the most out of our project by basing the research on the transport hubs in Elephant and Castle and West Croydon.

Once this was decided we designed the questionnaires and created a prototype to make sure all the questions were relevant and made sense. The trial run took place at Vauxhall bus station and everything went to plan. I found that talking to members of the public was easier than I first thought.  We have now carried out 80 face to face questionnaires with young people at transport hubs in West Croydon and Elephant and Castle. We will be analysing our results soon and sharing our findings with the Serious Youth Violence Board”.

The Youth Advisory Board members who are currently carrying out research into serious youth violence at different transport hubs in London, will be meeting with the Youth Justice Board on 20th November to present their interim findings.