First of five new 24/7 Co-responder teams rolled out

Published Saturday, 20 May, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development and Minister for Youth Justice
The Honourable Di Farmer


  • Toowoomba’s 24/7 youth co-responder team has just hit the streets
  • It is the first of five new teams being established across Queensland thanks to a $100 million Palaszczuk Government funding boost for rehabilitation and diversion programs proven to help break the cycle of youth offending
  • Co-responder teams are made up of police and youth justice workers who patrol the streets together to engage with young people at-risk of offending

Queensland’s newest youth co-responder team will hit the streets of Toowoomba to work with at-risk young people to break the cycle of youth offending.

In Toowoomba to launch the new team today, Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer said it was one of five new co-responder teams being established across Queensland thanks to an additional $100 million funding investment by the Palaszczuk Government into early intervention and rehabilitation programs proven to deter young people from offending.

In addition to Toowoomba, new co-responder teams are being established in Mount Isa, Hervey Bay, South Brisbane and Ipswich. Teams already operate in Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Moreton, Brisbane North, Logan and the Gold Coast.

Co-responder teams consist of police and youth justice staff who patrol the streets and engage with young people at local parks and shopping centres, on the street or in their homes, day or night.

They 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.

Co-responder teams have been progressively established across the state since 2020 and have interacted with young people more than 60,000 times.

Also helping to tackle youth crime in the Toowoomba region are two new projects, funded through the Palaszczuk Government’s $3 million Community Partnership Innovation Grants program, which have commenced recently.

Raw Impact received a grant of $300,000 to provide at-risk young people with cultural connections, while youth mentor Adam Wenitong received a grant of $142,483 to offer an intensive program for young offenders to explore their cultural identity and build life skills.

Quotes attributable to Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer:

“As the new Youth Justice Minister I believe it is about striking a balance between holding offenders to account, while giving young people in the early stages of offending the chance to stay out of trouble with the law and the consequences of entering the youth justice system.

The Co-responder program sees police and youth justice using intelligence to crack down on risky behaviour. Engagement by Co-Responders gets ahead of serious offending.

Team members take kids roaming the streets and direct them into useful activities and often sometimes it’s as simple as taking kids home or to a place of care.

Co-Responders also have a big focus on the riskiest young people, and get them to drug diversion and mental health support. To date there has been 60,066 direct interactions with young people across the state.

“Often these interactions relate to bail compliance checks.  Up to a third of the interactions with young people are on the street or the footpaths, with other contacts at homes.

“The Toowoomba team will operate 24/7 and I’m confident they will have a positive impact for the community.”

Quotes attributable to Police Minister Mark Ryan:

“I know from speaking to our co-responder teams how dedicated they are and how successful they have been engaging with at-risk young people.

“The co-responder model is a more efficient method of ensuring that young people can get access to the particular supports and programs that can assist them.”

Quotes attributable to Toowoomba Youth Co-Responder Team Leader Brooke Sanders:

“Youth crime often happens outside business hours, which is why it’s important that we have a dedicated team on the ground ready to respond anytime.

“The Toowoomba co-responder team will work around the clock to help to prevent youth crime before it happens by looking out for at-risk young people.

“Our youth justice staff and police officers are looking forward to building stronger relationships with young people, their families, business owners and the wider community.

“We can all help make a difference and keep our communities and our kids safe.”

Quotes attributable to Commander of the Youth Crime Taskforce, Acting Assistant Commissioner George Marchesini:

“We have seen terrific outcomes from the youth co-responder program in other parts of the state and I’m confident this initiative will make a real difference here in Toowoomba.

“We know by focusing our interactions with both at-risk and high-risk young people, we can build rapport and maximise early intervention opportunities.

“Our Youth Co-Responder teams are connecting with young people in a positive way.

“We’re continuing to see positive relationships being built and high engagement rates that are sustained due to the joint approach.”


Further information:

For more information on the youth justice reforms visit


Media contact: Gary Shipway 0447236760