Posted: 17 March 2017

Bigging up the bill

Ellie is part of one of our young participation groups that today launched Big Up The Bill. Featuring as one of our guest bloggers, Ellie tells us about the campaign and why it is so important.

Big Up The Bill

Through our experiences, we’ve come into contact with different police staff, and we know the way that they behave towards young people really matters.

Our campaign focuses on young people’s experiences of the police and the changes needed to help them better protect those that they work with.

help us big up the bill

We want to do this through highlighting good examples of police work and sharing this widely so that all police staff develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will make them better at working with children and young people – especially vulnerable children and young people.

‘She took time to listen to me, even if it took me four hours to explain’

Our experiences with police

Some of the police staff who have helped us have been respectful and friendly. This does not seem like much, but when you’re going through a traumatic time, this can really make a difference.

I wanted to share with you a few of our experiences of police and what they did that made us feel safe and respected:


‘On my first incident, he made me feel comfortable by making a brew and
talking about football.’

‘There was an incident with my anger at home where he ended up coming. But instead of shouting at me or threatening to arrest me, he sat with me while I cried and made sure that I was calm. He came to see me next day to make sure that I was alright.’

‘He always asks how I am doing and checks that I am safe when he sees me about.’

‘When I had serious issues he came to take a statement and told me I can take my time and if I want to leave something till next day. He said we’d get through it is as I built my confidence.’


Some police staff realise that teenagers can get angry and upset because they have a lot going on in their lives. The best examples of this are where they have been listened to, respected, and time has been taken to build a relationship.

Sometimes just a smile and introducing themselves made a difference.

Our top tips

That’s why we’ve come up with top tips of what good police staff can do:

  • Understand that body language matters
  • Smile. Give young people a chance to introduce themselves.
  • Treat young people respectfully – as a human being, not as a case you are working on.
  • Use simple language to explain things.
  • Make small conversations before asking big questions.
  • Try to calm the situation down if a young person reacts angrily - using de-escalation techniques, not restraint.
  • Don’t confuse facts with opinions
  • Speak to them as normal human beings.
  • Make young people feel safe; offer support from someone of the same gender and give us a choice.
  • Show that you care
  • Be a good listener, empathise, work well as a team with other agencies and be calm.

We want to share these tips to Police and Crime Commissioners along with the report that we’ve written - and this is where you come in!

read more about our big up the bill report

How you can get involved

To show the Police and Crime Commissioners we have support, we want you to tell them why they should support our campaign.

Show your support today and help us Big Up The Bill.

help us big up the bill

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