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Plan to break youth crime cycle

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February 10, 2018

THE Police in Schools program would help tackle the scourge of violent youth crime and improve community safety, according to Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh.

TACKLING the scourge of violent youth crime and improving community safety would be the focus of a Police in Schools program to be introduced by the Liberal Nationals if elected.

At a cost of $50 million over four years, the program is a proactive child and youth engagement initiative to help police better engage with young Victorians still at school, and to restore respect for police and the community.

An additional 100 police will be funded as school resource officers to complement the existing Victoria Police youth resource officers.

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said the officers will become trusted members of the school community and will provide an opportunity for members of the community to seek advice about a range of policing issues.

“The program would complement the Liberal Nationals tough sentencing, bail and parole changes with a comprehensive plan to engage with young people in the community, particularly those who are at risk,” he said.

“To break the cycle of youth crime we must engage our kids at a young age, speaking to them about community safety and to restore respect for police and the courts.

“By putting police in direct contact with young people we can build a positive relationship between them that will stay with our young people for life.”

The Police in Schools program would help tackle the scourge of violent youth crime and improve community safety, according Walsh.

Mr Walsh said the program, to be introduced by an elected Liberal Nationals government, would complement its tough sentencing, bail and parole changes with a comprehensive plan to engage with young people in the community, particularly those at risk.

‘‘To break the cycle of youth crime, we must engage our kids at a young age, speaking to them about community safety and to restore respect for police and the courts,’’ he said.

‘‘By putting police in direct contact with Victorian youths we can build a positive relationship between our youths and law enforcement officers that will stay with our young people for life.’’

At a cost of $50 million over four years, the ‘Police in Schools’ program is a major proactive child and youth engagement initiative to assist police to better engage with young Victorians who are still at school, and to restore respect for police and the community.

Under the plan, dedicated police officers will be embedded at 10 ‘high-risk’ Victorian secondary schools and an extra 100 new police will be funded to work as school resource officers to complement the existing Victoria Police youth resource officers.

‘‘The officers will become trusted members of the school community and as such will provide an opportunity for members of that community to seek advice about a range of policing issues, including the scourge of family violence,’’ Mr Walsh said.

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