Alan Hardwick: No need for Lincolnshire youth PCC

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick said there is no need for a youth PCC post to liaise with young people in the county.

The first Youth PCC, 17-year-old Paris Brown, resigned this week from her £15,000 per year post funded by the Kent PCC, after it was found she boasted about her sex life, drug-taking and drinking on her Twitter account.

Although other PCCs across the country were reportedly considering appointing their own youth PCCs, Lincolnshire Commissioner Hardwick told The Lincolnite he ruled out such a role for the county for the time being.

PCC Alan Hardwick said: “I don’t think that I need to appoint anyone else to do the job. I have complete faith in the people of Lincolnshire to do it for themselves.

“It has nothing to do with what might have happened in other parts of the country,” PCC Hardwick explained, “because I know that our neighbourhood policing teams, the YMCA here, and other organisations already have very good links with young people in the county.”

The commissioner visited The Showroom on Tritton Road in Lincoln on Wednesday, a £5 million youth and conference centre run by Lincolnshire YMCA.

“I want to tap into those links, and I know having spoken here with Malcolm Barham, the Chief Executive of the YMCA, that they are eager as well to operate with me. This is all for the good of young people in Lincolnshire,” PCC Hardwick added.

Lincolnshire YMCA Chief Executive Malcolm Barham has coffee and tea with PCC Alan Hardwick and PSCO David Freeman at The Showroom in Lincoln.

Lincolnshire YMCA Chief Executive Malcolm Barham had coffee and tea with PCC Alan Hardwick and PSCO David Freeman at The Showroom in Lincoln.

Malcolm Barham, Lincolnshire YMCA Chief Executive, said: “From our perspective, we’ve shown part of the work of the YMCA, which is engaging young people in positive activities that keep them occupied, give them some sense of purpose and some aspiration.

“We were actually reminiscing a little bit about our childhoods, and I was brought up on a tough council estate in the north east of England and this facility [The Showroom] would never have existed even in my dreams.

“To have such wonderful staff here, supportive and helping young people to find a bit of direction is fantastic, both for the people and for our organisation, because this is what we’re about, making a difference in people’s lives.”

Malcolm Barham showed PCC Alan Hardwick the facilities at The Showroom, including the climbing wall centre.

Malcolm Barham showed PCC Alan Hardwick the facilities at The Showroom, including the climbing wall centre.

PCSO David Freeman, who patrols in the south of Lincoln and his area includes The Showroom, said: “It’s been great having The Showroom here, because it’s somewhere for young people to actually go.

“It’s a great distraction for them. Rather than hanging around at street corners, they’re hanging around here, and for me this is a great opportunity to actually come along, talk and engage with them. There’s plenty for them to do here, and even if they are just hanging around; it’s safe, it’s warm, dry, and I know a lot of them like the activities they put on here.”