Creating Safer Communities: Establishment of an Aboriginal-Led Youth Outreach Service

The Territory Labor Government is breaking thecycle of crime and anti-social behaviour in Alice Springs to keep streets saferand help young people get their lives back on track.

Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefieldtoday announced the final piece of the seven point Breaking the Cycle plan for Alice Springs an Aboriginal-led YouthOutreach Service

The service, known asLooking After the Kids Walking Together with Young People, will be operated byTangentyere Council Aboriginal Organisation.

It will bestaffed by a team of respected Aboriginal youth outreach workers, who willprovide advice and support to youth engagement officers and mentor Aboriginalyoung people.

The service will be underpinned by acultural advisory group made up of the Tangentyere Council Mens Four CornersGroup and Tangentyere Womens Family Safety Group.

A trial of this service wasconducted during the April school holidays and was met with positive reports.

All Breakingthe Cycle initiatives are now in effect. This also includes:

  • Appointment of seven Youth Engagement Night Officers (YENOs) to work seven days a week from 8pm-3am with young people who are on the street (and regularly involved in crime) and get them on a better path. YENOs will support NT Police, Territory Families and non-government youth services.
  • More mobile CCTV cameras in anti-social behaviour hot spots.
  • Two School Engagement Officers to work with young people who have been identified as being disengaged from schooling. These officers have been appointed.
  • Three School Compliance Officers to work with young people when attempts to increase school attendance has not been successful.
  • Expand the youth drop-in centres at Gap Youth and Community Centre and Tangentyere Council Brown Street to operate seven days a week and extend their bus service.
  • Expand the hours of the Tangentyere Night Patrol to get young people off the streets. Patrol vehicles will run seven days a week from 6pm-3am.

As noted by Minister for Territory Families,Dale Wakefield.

The Territory Labor Government is listening to Centralianswho have had enough of crime, youth crime, and anti-social behaviour. The Breaking the Cycle plan gives us abetter chance of breaking the cycle of crime and keeps Alice Springs safer.

The new Aboriginal-led Youth Outreach Servicewill make a positive difference in the lives of at-risk young people, so thatthey can turn their lives around and get back on the right track. The servicewill be drawing on the cultural authority of the Tangentyere Womens SafetyGroup and the Mens Four Corners Group two groups that are already doinglife-changing work with at-risk young people.

All seven Breakingthe Cycle initiatives are now in place which also includes new YouthEngagement Night Officers, more mobile CCTV cameras, expanding the hours at theyouth drop-in centres and night patrol, and compliance officers to ensure thatyoung people attend school and not on the streets. These initiatives will keepAlice Springs safer.

As noted by Tangentyere Council AboriginalOrganisation Chief Executive, Walter Shaw.

“Thesafety of our children is of paramount importance to Town Campers andTangentyere so we are very pleased to be working with the NT Government andother agencies in this outreach program.

“Itis significant this Aboriginal-led program is being launched during NAIDOCweek.

“The TangentyereMens Four Corners and Womens Family Safety Groups have wanted to seeprograms implemented that drive sustainable positive change and provide supportfor vulnerable young people in our town.

“TheKids are Safe walking together with young people program willwork across our Night and Youth Patrols, integrate with other Tangentyereservices and importantly, support and advise external youth services.

“Mostimportantly the program recognises the role of parents, families andcommunities in the lives of at-risk young people and will work closely withthem to provide the support that is needed to drive long term change for youngpeople and their families.”

/Public Release. View in full here.