The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) Youth Panel aims to increase trust in the police complaints system. The Panel does this by giving young people a structured means to inform and scrutinise the work of the IOPC.
Existing evidence shows that young people and those from BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities are less likely to complain about the police. For this reason, the IOPC teamed up with Leaders Unlocked to launch a Youth Panel to build confidence in the complaints system and pave the way to a new and better relationship.
In planning this project, we built on what we had learnt about building bridges between young people and the police through setting up the Youth Commission on Police and Crime. We carefully developed the structure and scope of the Youth Panel so it could play an active role in the IOPC’s work long into the future.View the report
Recruitment and training: Working closely with local organisations, we recruited a diverse group of young adults aged 16-25 years from across England and Wales. Through a series of practical sessions, we supported Youth Panel members to acquire knowledge about the police complaints system and build skills in public speaking, interviewing and active listening, in order to gather and represent the views of other young people.
Co-design: We worked with Youth Panel members and the IOPC to define the vision and mission of the Youth Panel. Through a process of co-design, the Panel members created communications and peer engagement events to engage other young people across England and Wales.
Production of flyer and film: Panel members developed pieces of media to support their events and engage their target audiences. These took the form of a flyer with accessible information on how and why to make a complaint and a short film featuring Panel members in conversation with Michael Lockwood, IOPC Director General.
Peer engagement events across England & Wales: Our peer-to-peer approach enabled the Youth Panel to collate honest, unfiltered insights from hard-to-reach and minority groups who might otherwise be wary of engaging with the IOPC. We held events in a wide range of education and community settings across England and Wales. In total, we engaged 800 young people in meaningful conversations about how to increase confidence in the police complaints system.
Analysis and recommendations: The findings of the engagement events were captured in a structured way and, at the final meeting, the Youth Panel gathered to synthesise these into a clear and viable set of recommendations for the IOPC.
Final presentation and report:At the culmination of the project, the Youth Panel presented their key findings and recommendations to an audience of IOPC and external stakeholders. You can read the Youth Panel’s report here. The report and its recommendations are currently being used as the basis for the Panel’s second year of work.
Police forces and PCCs
Young People involved in ‘Big Conversations’ in their communities
"The work of Leaders Unlocked and the Youth Panel is really embedded in our organisation now. There is a lot of trust and respect for them and we don’t shy away from bringing them into difficult situations. This is testament to the methodology, the diversity of the panel and the process they go through, which means they function to a really high level."