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Prevention programs best to reduce offending

The Commissioner for Children and Young People WA Colin Pettit said he was pleased to hear about the success of Kununurra holiday programs in reducing anti-social and offending behaviour by local children and young people.

Mr Pettit congratulated Kununurra police and Save the Children for trialing a positive program that is providing benefits for the whole community.

“This initiative showcases what can be achieved with targeted, preventative measures, and I am pleased to see some analysis undertaken of the program’s effectiveness,” Mr Pettit said.

“As well as reducing crime, such events build positive relations in the community and help to identify at-risk children and families.”

Mr Pettit said it is vital to include children and young people in the planning of these types of programs to continually improve participation rates and the benefits to the community.

“For example, children and young people attending may have ideas about how to engage with the kids who are not participating,” Mr Pettit said.

“I was surprised to hear reports that the Kununurra community does not have a youth event coordinator, as this type of role is crucial in establishing relationships with local children and undertaking this type of consultation.

“I am looking forward to hearing how the programs evolve in Kununurra over the next few holiday periods, and of other communities that are establishing or expanding similar initiatives."