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Students Discuss Policing And Safety

Dorset Youth Conference

8:43am 3rd October 2014

Over one hundred secondary school pupils from across Dorset held a conference yesterday to discuss policing and safety. Hosted by the Office of the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, the conference 'My Life My Choice' was opened by Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill and Deputy Chief Constable of Dorset Police James Vaughan. This event at Bovington Park was delivered in partnership with organisations from the community and voluntary sector.

Former drug and alcohol users from Vita Nova were on hand to talk about their first-hand experience of addiction, with the key note speech delivered by Sharon Muiriri, who set up Vita Nova, a community theatre group for people in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.
Young people took part in five workshops spanning cyberbullying, safe relationships, mental health, the law and young people, legal highs and recreational drugs. The sessions were led by the Dorset Police Safe Schools and Communities Team (SSCT), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Shadows.

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said: "The event was a great success. It was an exciting and important opportunity to listen and respond to young people and work with them to develop solutions to some of the issues they face. It is important that we continue to engage with young people across Dorset."

After the conference one young person said: "I found the whole event really useful. It's important to realise that whatever life throws at you, you can always pick yourself up and move on. I've learnt how to spot the signs of mental trouble, alcoholism and drug abuse and it's great to know the police are behind young people."

Alongside the Dorset OPCC, there were also stalls from other 17 organisations giving people advice on topics such as drugs, online safety and healthy living.


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