A LACK of facilities for young people leads to them hanging about on the streets.
That was the claim from local teenagers as they came face to face with police officers.
Police in Brighouse brought together pupils from five schools to ask them what they think about policing and issues affecting young people.
Insp Mohammed Nawaz said resident’s perceptions that groups of young people hanging about is antisocial is wrong.
But he added that many young people also need to understand how their behaviour is perceived by others.
Insp Nawaz and officers from the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team will listen to the views of pupils from Hipperholme and Lightcliffe School, Rastrick High School, Brighouse High School, Brooksbank School in Elland and William Henry Smith School over the coming weeks.
Insp Nawaz, who heads the NPT, said it was about getting young people to understand the work of the police and for them to understand what young people think of them.
At the Youth Forum he said: “Antisocial behaviour is the main talking point.
“From my point of view if we can engage with these young people and show them how others see their behaviour, it will make them think and possibly make a difference in our community.
“Hopefully, they’ll also go away and tell their friends at school and the message will spread.”
He said the meetings were about “breaking down barriers” between the police and younger members of the community.
He added: “I’m sure they’ll tell us exactly what they think, and that’s what we want.
“One thing that has come up is a lack of facilities they want, they’ve told us they don’t want to be playing table tennis but want a disco instead.
“While that’s for our local partners to address, we can look at what’s happening instead.
“People see a group of young people hanging around on the street and think they’re up to no good.
“Many times that is far from the case – they’re just getting together.
“Likewise, older people should know that many of our young people are not behaving in an anti-social way, they’re just hanging about with their friends.
“We hope some good will come of these meetings.”