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Commissioner highlights value of youth work in tackling crime

TO MARK ‘Youth Work Week’ in Wales, Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn is recognising the importance of the role of youth workers in preventing young people becoming involved in crime.

The Commissioner has been helping to launch the latest project by the charity Crimestoppers’ youth service, Fearless, which aims to tackle the criminal exploitation of young people.

Working alongside other youth workers from the public and charity sector, and with the support of the Council for Wales Voluntary Youth Services, a new team of ‘Fearless’ youth workers have been employed as part of a Wales-wide serious violence prevention project.

At a partnership event organised by Crimestoppers in Llanelli, he highlighted the contribution of youth workers in engaging with young people to divert them from crime, and also ensuring they have a voice to speak up about crime.

Dafydd Llywelyn, Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Youth Work has a key part to play in connecting with young people in a non-judgmental, informal and meaningful way. Youth workers can build trust by engaging them in positive activities in their communities and talk to them about issues such as exploitation and illegal drugs, in order to help them keep safe from harm. As part of my commitment to work with young people, I also provide £180,000 toward the work of Youth Offending Teams in the four Counties of Dyfed-Powys, who work with young people aged 8-17 at risk of offending, with the aim of improving their safety and wellbeing.

“I’m keen for young people to have a voice about crime. Through my youth forum, I am listening to views about policing and looking at new ways to connect with hard to reach groups. The Fearless youth service will also assist in encouraging young people to speak up about crime by reporting their concerns to a trusted adult or using Fearless.org anonymously.”

Ella Rabaiotti, Wales National Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “Through our digital campaigns, we’ve been reaching out to young people to educate them about crime and are delighted to now be able to expand our direct youth work with the Commissioner’s support.”

“Our youth workshops will enable us to share our new educational film – Running the Lines – to prevent young people being exploited by criminal gangs. We hope through this project we can empower young people to be aware of the crime and exploitation, feel safer and be confident to report it – including the option to stay anonymous through Fearless.org”

To find out more information about the Fearless project, visit Fearless.org.

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