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Youth Safety Conference 

Youth Safety was the topic of a conference organised by the Bristol Somali Forum and attended by representatives of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) recently.  

The conference took place on Thursday 6th June at the Trinity Centre Bristol and was attended by Darcey Warren, the OPCC’s Communication and Youth Engagement Apprentice. The focus of this conference was a call to action on the need of collaborative effort to combat issues such as youth violence and county lines. It was a chance to hear from inspiring speakers with powerful messages. 

Halgan Dahir, Outreach Team Member from Avon and Somerset Police started with a talk on the consequences of school exclusion and how it can expose young people to grooming, youth violence, mental health problems and drug dealing.  

Halgan said:

“Students who have cultural differences to their parents, or speak English as an additional language, face additional barriers and often a situation can be created where there is a lack of parental awareness of what is going on with their children and the issues and consequences they face.”

Halgan emphasised the importance of conversations and collaborative work to make the future safer for young people. 

Young people themselves also got the chance to speak in a panel discussion. They talked about how knife crime can be a result of peer pressure or lack of opportunities. They also discussed the importance of work experience as it is often difficult to find a job and navigate a career as a young person. 

Bristol Somali Youth Voice, a grass root community that empowers disadvantaged young people and families from Bristol and surrounding. A mentor from the organisation there told his story and how community organisations like Bristol Somali Youth Voice are so important as they helped him come away from gang violence and drug dealing. 

Darcey said: “Overall, this conference brought a range communities together to be able to talk about topics that need to be spoken about and how communities and people need to collaborate and work together to try and tackle these issues affecting young people. It was a great event.” 

If you are concerned that you or someone else is at risk of harm or carrying a knife you can report this anonymously through Crimestoppers or calling them on 0800 555 111. 

If you are a young person, you can do this through Fearless