Students at Rydens school in Surrey tackle the issue of teenage safety
By Cara, 14, and Josh, 13
Rydens School, Surrey
On 16 February a group of Year 9 students took part in a discussion about safety in their local community.
Safety is a very important issue for young people and we wanted to find out how safe they feel in their neighbourhoods.
We found that young people feel intimidated by groups of other young people and more vulnerable when they are by themselves.
Young people feel more unsafe in dark places that they are unfamiliar with, but only a few have actually had a personal experience of being unsafe in their local community.
However, most say they know someone who has had a bad experience.
"I think at night you feel unsafe because there are no witnesses around, so people think they can get away with things," says Josh, Year 9.
"I think that there should be more CCTV cameras so people are aware they will be caught if they commit a crime."
We found that people would feel safer if there were more things for young people to do in the evenings so they would not need to hang around the streets and cause trouble.
Others suggest that curfews or a greater police presence would be useful.
We also spoke to our teacher, Miss Armstrong, who says that young people have a responsibility to look after their own safety and that they should always let someone at home know where they are and use their mobile phones to stay in touch.
She also feels that the way media report stories about crimes in communities can lead people to feel areas are more unsafe than they actually are.
"It is a shame that the media enforce stereotypes about young people rather than reporting positive stories about them," added Miss Armstrong.