CAIRNS and Aurukun will benefit from new community safety initiatives thanks to the Coalition Government providing financial support for two key Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare (PCYC) programs.
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch MP have announced that Queensland PCYC will receive $2,702,566 under Safer Streets Round Two.
The funding will be used to run the Framing the Future and Crime Prevention Programme Officer initiatives in a number of communities across the state. The funding agreement has been executed and the project is ready to go ahead.
Locally, Cairns PCYC will implement the Framing the Future initiative. This will see an additional youth support officer working in Cairns to provide dedicated post-Programme support to Project Booyah graduates after completion of the 20 week crime prevention programme.
“The aim is to maintain ongoing contact with at-risk youth between the ages of 14-17 to prevent their regression to anti-social or criminal activity,” Mr Entsch said.
“This can be through encouraging them to continue with education or work, and putting in place tailored intervention for those young people who are starting to back-slide.”
In addition, both Cairns and Aurukun will benefit from the implementation of the Crime Prevention Programme Officer initiative.
“In each community, an Officer will work with local partners and young people to identify anti-social and criminal issues and trends, and they’ll develop targeted and tailored intervention programmes to address these issues,” Mr Entsch said.
“These will include diversionary programs and activities to improve relationships between young people and police and community members, reduce substance abuse, violence, bullying and unsafe social media behaviours, and build skills that will help across many aspects of a young person’s life.”
Mr Entsch said crime and community safety was frequently reported as a concern to his office; just last week, he spoke with local retailers who had been assaulted, spat on and robbed by young people running riot in their stores.
“The PCYC does fantastic work in our communities and these two initiatives will further help young people to get, and stay, on track, and more broadly will help to reduce fear of crime and contribute to greater community safety and resilience,” he said.
Minister Keenan said only safe communities can be strong and prosperous, and the best way to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour is to prevent it from happening.
“All Australians have the right to feel safe and secure in their community,” he said.
“Most importantly though – these funds are from the Proceeds of Crime Account ? that is money taken from criminals and reinvested into preventing more crimes.
“Our Government is delivering on its commitment to assist communities to deliver local solutions to crime hot-spots and anti-social behaviour.”
Further information on the Safer Streets Programme is available at www.ag.gov.au.