Moreton co-responder team helping to break youth crime cycle

Published Thursday, 19 May, 2022 at 03:28 PM

Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

A crime prevention initiative that has brought together a dedicated team of police and youth justice workers to patrol the streets of Moreton this week marked two years of operation.

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

Member for Morayfield, Mark Ryan said the Queensland 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 said.

“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.”

Minister for Children and Youth Justice, Leanne Linard, said since the team started in Moreton in May 2020, the co-responders had engaged young people around 4200 times.

“We know that stopping crime before it occurs is the most effective way to break the cycle of youth offending.  This is why the co-responder teams are so important,” Ms Linard said.

“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.”

Moreton youth co-responder, Hannah Roberts, said the team works across all suburbs in the district, providing a coordinated 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 said.

“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.”

The 2021–22 budget allocated $11.9 million for the co-responder initiative.

Co-responder teams also operate in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Brisbane North, Logan, and the Gold Coast.

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