Youth Council discusses safety concerns for young people in St Neots
- Credit: HUNTS POST
St Neots Youth Council met on April 4 at the Priory Centre and discussed the results of a survey they had conducted over several months, between August and November, 2021.
The survey was aimed at young people aged from 11 to 18 to find out how safe they felt in their communities.
Youth Council members looked at the results, from roughly 100 people, who took part in the survey which focussed on safety in and around the St Neots area. People were also asked to consider what could be done to improve the areas they felt were unsafe.
According to the survey results, the place where people felt most "unsafe" was the Riverside Park, specifically, the skate park where there were often gatherings of large groups of people.
The area around the railway station was also somewhere young people said they felt "unsafe". They mentioned it was "too dark", "there were too many people" and there was "no-one around" if they needed to ask for help.
The survey showed youngsters also felt unsafe in the High Street after dark as they felt there was not enough lighting.
Places they felt safe were when they were inside school, in busy cafes and shops and also the Market Square during the daytime.
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The survey showed the most common suggestions for making the town safer was better lighting, police patrols and a more controlled environment at the Riverside skatepark.
Methods of sharing messages about keeping safe were also discussed and the top three suggestions were social media, PSHE lessons in school and police talks in school.
Of the people surveyed for a multi-choice question, 67 per cent said they were afraid of being harassed and 57 per cent they were fearful of being assaulted. Only 16 per cent said they always felt safe.
Next steps for the Youth Council are to consider the survey results and see what can be done to improve the town. They will discuss the results in more depth in future meetings. They will then share their conclusions with St Neots Town Council.
The Youth Council meets again online on May 2.