Co-responder team helping to break youth crime cycle in Rocky
Published Thursday, 09 March, 2023 at 09:22 AM
Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard
- More than 4500 instances of engagement with young people by co-responder teams in Rockhampton
- Teams are made up of police and youth justice workers who engage young people to help break the cycle of youth crime
- Five new co-responder sites have been announced including Toowoomba, Hervey Bay, Mount Isa, Ipswich and South Brisbane
Co-responder teams of police and youth justice workers in Rockhampton have engaged more than 4500 times with young people since hitting the ground in May 2020, helping to break the cycle of youth crime and keep the community safe.
The latest figures come as the Palaszczuk Government moves to expand the program to five new locations across Queensland – Toowoomba, Hervey Bay, Mount Isa, Ipswich and South Brisbane – as part of a suite of reforms to address youth crime.
As well as Rockhampton, co-responder teams currently operate in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Moreton, Logan and Brisbane North and the Gold Coast.
Minister for Children and Youth Justice Leanne Linard, Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga met with youth justice and police co-responders in Rockhampton at The Bike Shed today (9 March).
The Bike Shed is just one of the types of services and programs that co-responder teams can steer young people towards to help support them and divert them from offending.
It offers a program for young people centred around the repair and restoration of bikes and offers an opportunity to talk about issues they may be experiencing while they refurbish bikes for people in need. It also aims to teach them resilience, teamwork and respectful communications.
The program means young people can access a range of supports and services, meaning they get the right help at the right time.
These services help tackle issues from homelessness to disengagement from education, domestic violence and substance misuse.
Quotes attributable to Barry O’Rourke, Member for Rockhampton
“Our local co-responder teams are helping keep our community safe.
“They are engaging with young people at local parks and shopping centres, on the street or in their homes, day or night.
“Co-responders transport young people home from places of risk or if they’re engaging in anti-social behaviour, find missing children, take young people to hospital to treat injuries, connect them to vocational training and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentors, and follow up with families in crisis situations.
“They also check on young people on bail during weekends and evenings, to help ensure they are complying with their bail conditions.”
Quotes attributable to Brittany Lauga, Member for Keppel
“The focus of co-responder teams is to help turn around the lives of young people who are in or at risk of entering the youth justice system, with a particular focus on repeat youth offenders.
“Every time our co-responder teams engage with a young person at risk of offending, it’s an opportunity to check on their welfare, connect them to the right service or support, and show them that someone cares about their choices.
“This overall approach strikes a balance between holding offenders to account, while giving young people in the early stages of offending the chance to stay out of trouble and the youth justice system.”
“It’s great to see them working with local service providers like The Bike Shed to support and divert young people away from trouble and give them a sense of purpose.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Justice Leanne Linard
“The Palaszczuk Government is investing heavily in a wide range of intervention programs for young people because we know these programs help break the cycle of crime for most offenders.
“Recently, The Premier announced $100 million in additional funding would be invested into programs proven to make a difference when it comes to youth crime, including our youth co-responder teams.
“This is on top of the $800 million investment the Government has already made in responding to youth crime and tackling its complex causes to help break the cycle of offending for the future.
Detective Acting Inspector Luke Peachey:
“The co-responder team in Rockhampton do a great job of engaging with both at-risk and high-risk young people which allows them to help divert them into early intervention opportunities.
“Partnering with Youth Justice allows us to engage with young people in a more positive way. Most young people the crews come across readily engage with them.
“We’re able to use the expertise of both agencies and enhance partnerships with government and non-government agencies to collectively respond to youth crime.”
The Bike Shed Coordinator Paul Mitchell:
“It’s great to work with the co-responder teams and to help support at-risk young people away from the youth justice system.
“The service we offer is a program centred around repairing old push bikes, which will then be gifted to people who need them.
“While we work on the bicycles together, we chat, we talk about where these young people are at in their lives, what their goals are for the future and about anything that is bothering them.
“It is all about respectful communications, building resilience and teamwork.
“If the young person has no transport, we allow them to take the bicycle home with them which for many, offers another layer of independence.”
Explainer/fast fact and or further information:
For more information on the youth justice reforms visit www.cyjma.qld.gov.au/youth-justice/reforms
Media contact: Scott Chandler (07) 3719 7339