Police from Wollongong and Lake Illawarra have formed a collaboration with Youth Justice and students from the University of Wollongong to establish a new NSW Police force Youth Strategy for the area.
The initiative is set to make a positive impact on youth crime rates with the partners in the collaboration developing innovative solutions to reduce the risk of reoffending by young people and cut the number of young people breaching AVOs.
District Commander of the Lake Illawarra Police, Superintendent Dean Smith said the project was part of the university studies for a group of 10 students who presented their recommendations to a panel of senior police and Youth Justice from the Illawarra/Shoalhaven Taskforce to Reduce Domestic Violence Reoffending.
Superintendent Smith said the impact of domestic and family violence across all communities was devastating for victims.
“For youth who are involved in these incidents as victims or perpetrators, it is critical that there are appropriate support services and information to assist them,” Superintendent Smith said.
“The work by the students on the development of the app [for support services] and information packages allows us to better connect with our youth and provide them with the tools and information they need to make better decisions, as well as providing a level of support during difficult times,” he said.
Police District Commander for Wollongong, Superintendent Chris Craner praised the collaborative efforts by the students, police and justice, saying that a collaboration of that nature could make a significant difference in reducing reoffending rates among young people.
Acting Area Manager for the Wollongong Youth Justice community office, Kylie Patterson said a number of the ideas put forward by students were already in the process of being actioned.