ONLINE safety and building relationships between youngsters and the police are just two key priorities of a new policing strategy for the region.

North Yorkshire Police have this week launched their Children and Young People Strategy to deal with issues that most affect youngsters.

It was developed on the back of recommendations made by the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, as well as the opinions of more than 1,500 young people who took part in the Youth Commission’s first “Big Conversation”.

This involved youngsters across the county raising issues that matter most to them, with online bullying, child sex exploitation and hate crime among the crimes they highlighted.

The new strategy will aim to deal with this issues showing that the opinions of young people are important to the police.

Inspector Sarah Sanderson of the police’s Partnership Hub said: “We want young people in North Yorkshire to know that we are their police force, we are there for them, and we take the concerns of children and young people as seriously as those of adults.

“We already work alongside young people in lots of positive ways – you only have to look at things like the Lifestyle Awards or the Crucial Crew programme to see that – but these are special projects.

“It’s important that our core service works for young people too.

“For this strategy we have really taken a lead from young people themselves, and looked at ways we can improve based on their views and experiences.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, set up the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, and is instrumental in making sure it has a powerful voice within the police service.

She said: “I set up the Youth Commission because I want young people to be able to support and challenge the work of the police.

“The work that has gone into this new strategy shows that young people do have a different perspective, which deserves to be heard and acted on. “With the strategy now in place, I will be looking to North Yorkshire Police to deliver on the recommendations, and truly provide a service that is accessible and effective for younger people.”