Young people in Birmingham are being urged to make their voices heard and have their say on issues affecting their generation.
Nominations for the upcoming Youth Commissioner elections, run by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), opened earlier this month.
The positions give candidates under the age of 18 the chance to represent their peers and give young people a voice on topics that affect and matter to them.
A total of 16 volunteer positions are up for grabs across the West Midlands, with four in Birmingham, with successful candidates winning a two-year term.
They will be tasked with coordinating events, advising the PCC on issues affecting young people and challenged to hold the police force to account if they fall short of expectations.
The position will provide an avenue for the successful candidates to have a positive impact on their local area and wider region – while also developing their own personal skills and confidence.
The commissioners are also expected to bring benefits to the wider community, breaking down barriers between young people and local police teams to build new trust.
The Positive Youth Foundation (PYF), are working with the PCC to help facilitate and develop the election process for the Youth Commissioners.
The process will act as many young people’s first interaction with democracy – with the internet and social media being utilised to enhance engagement.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “I will rely on these Commissioners to keep me informed on the issues that matter most to young people.
“They will be my eyes and ears on the ground and play a crucial role.
“I want as many young people from across Birmingham to put themselves forward as possible.”
Katie Davis, Programme Co-ordinator at PYF, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to engage in meaningful interactions with the police force and have a positive impact on their area.
“It’s crucial that the election is online and accessible to all, engaging young people in the democratic process – as they vote for an individual who will be their local and regional voice.
“Social media will be used for campaigning, with voting being conducted securely online.
“As well as having an impact on their communities, the benefits of taking on these roles are vast and will help support the creation of further career opportunities in the future.”
Two Youth Commissioners will be elected for each of the following policing units, Birmingham West, Birmingham East, Sandwell, Coventry, Dudley, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Walsall.
Nominations close on Friday, September 28. The two-week election will then get underway on October 2nd and close on October 16th.
The successful candidates will then be announced on October 17th.