Trust trailblazers – co-responders missing link
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Trust trailblazers – co-responders missing link

Logan’s youth crime prevention model, now statewide, focuses on building trust in police among teenagers.

Those who run the program said developing trust played a “crucial role in tackling youth crime”.

The Youth Co-Responder model “breaks the mould” of traditional policing by partnering police with youth justice workers to engage with at-risk young people.

Together, the co-responders undertake bail compliance, check in with young people and their families, and provide support to locals needing assistance with youth programs to divert them from crime.

They also provide connect families to support services in order to address issues that contribute to offending – including education, employment, housing, health, mental health and domestic and family violence.

Youth justice worker Bec Jarman said the co-responder program aimed to “bridge the gap between police and kids” to foster connection.

“Sometimes kids don’t get along with police for a multitude of reasons and it makes it really hard for police to engage with them,” she said.

“We take the time to get to know the kids and they can trust us, and then we can start to make a difference.

“It changes their lives – getting the kids re-engaged with school or work, or getting their driver’s license, means that I’m not going to see them in another five years driving unlicensed and getting reprimanded for that because we have supported them earlier.”

Co-responder teams provide a 24/7 response.

They also patrol hotspot locations like parks and shopping centres and engage with young people to ensure their safety and help them get home.

“When kids are released from the detention centre, it’s shown that the first 72 hours of their release is when they might reoffend the most,” Ms Jarman said.

“So, in that 72 hours we’ll go out and make sure we engage with them and see if there are any supports that we can offer for them that can help keep them on the right path.”

 

 

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