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Team helping break youth crime cycle

Posted: 5am 23 May 2022

A crime prevention initiative bringing together a dedicated team of police and youth justice workers to patrol the streets of the Moreton Bay Region has engaged with young people more than 4000 times since it launched two years ago.

The city’s co-responder team works to improve community safety by connecting with at-risk youth and young people on court orders.

Morayfield MP Mark Ryan says the state government began rolling out the joint police and youth justice co-responder program in May 2020 as part of a commitment to reduce youth crime.

“We have eight co-responder teams in the state, connecting and communicating with young people,” Mr Ryan says.

“Ultimately, anything we do to tackle youth crime also needs to consider the causes of crime, which is exactly what the co-responders are doing.”

Breaking the cycle

Minister for Children and Youth Justice Leanne Linard says since the team started in the region the co-responders had engaged with young people about 4200 times.

“We know that stopping crime before it occurs is the most effective way to break the cycle of youth offending,” Ms Linard says.

“This is why the co-responder teams are so important.”

“This is why they speak with young people at the local park or shopping centre, on the street and in their homes, so they don’t have to meet them in the courthouse or the watchhouse.

“Their work includes checking on young offenders to ensure they’re complying with their bail conditions.”

Helping young people in crisis

Moreton youth co-responder Hannah Roberts says the team works across all suburbs in the region, providing a co-ordinated response for at-risk youth.

“It’s beneficial to have the team engaging with young people after business hours and assisting young people in crisis or engaging in anti-social behaviours,” she says.

“Young people can be experiencing a range of complex issues, and by working together and referring them to appropriate support services, we’re helping to address these underlying problems.

“Our overall focus is on intervening early, keeping children out of court, keeping children out of custody and reducing offending.”

Read more local news here.

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