West London College hosted its first ‘Relationships Between Young People and the Police’ network meeting today, 28 February 2023, at our Hammersmith and Fulham College. Professionals from the Metropolitan Police Service, West London Premier League football club Fulham FC, Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s young people’s services, Young Hammersmith & Fulham and mental health charity, Mind,came to consult with our students to find out the issues that matter to young people.
The main issues under examination were laughing gas (also known as nitrous oxide) as that was discussed in the last meeting as being an issue around festivals and local parks, drugs and addiction, vaping, and ‘stop and search’. The wide-ranging discussion touched on what is legal and what is against the law relating to these substances. The students also talked about policing and public order during the Notting Hill Carnival.
Bereket Sium, ICT Digital Skills Level 3 student commented: “It was great to be able to talk openly about what we thought to professionals and for them to listen to us and what we had to say.”
Alan De Campos ICT Digital Skills Level 3 student said: “The meeting was helpful. I feel less afraid of arrest and ‘stop and search’ and more confident on what the role of the police is.”
West London College Uniformed Public Services teacher Darren Morgan explained: “The last ‘Relationships Between Young People and the Police’ network meeting was held in October at the QPR Football Stadium. We were really impressed with the depth of issues covered between professionals and young people in our local area, that we wanted to take the lead and offer our college as a host to these events, and be a ‘flood gate’ in welcoming different community organisations into the college so they can talk to and engage with our students about issues that matter to them.”
The next network meeting takes place on 4 July 2023 at West London College. The organisations at the meeting were: