PCYC Queensland programs creating safer communities

Delivered in partnership with the Australian Government since 2016, the PCYC Queensland Safer Communities program deploys crime prevention programs and activities across 13 local communities including Aurukun, Bowen, Bundaberg, Cairns, Deception Bay, Inala, Logan, Mornington and Palm Islands, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Townsville and Yarrabah.

The Safer Communities Program directly targets anti-social behaviours exhibited in young people by developing and delivering bespoke crime prevention initiatives based upon the raised needs of community stakeholders in these high priority areas.

Evidence-based, innovative methods are being used to more deeply engage with young people and stakeholders to further develop the understanding of crime within each of the 13 communities, and our Safer Communities Coordinators (SCCs) continue to meet regularly with police officers and key stakeholders to monitor and respond to ongoing or iterative community issues.

Consultation with the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) around their national evaluation of the Safer Communities program began in the last few months, and the PCYC Queensland Safer Communities program uses a two-fold, evidence-based approach tailored to local contexts including:

  1. Diversionary activities to address the environmental crime issues for certain hot-spots and hot-times as identified by local police intelligence.
  2. Implementing trauma-informed practice that aims to assist young people to learn to self-regulate their emotions and consequent behaviour through evidence-based programs.

Since February 2019 alone, more than 19,000 contacts have been made with young people through the programs and activities run on a weekly basis.

Highlights from the Safer Communities Program for 2019

  • A series of workshops on sexual assault and cyber-sex offences was delivered to all secondary school students in Bundaberg through the Carly Ryan Foundation. Students in Bundaberg also identified crime issues they wanted to target, and these students wrote, filmed and edited a video addressing bullying and sexual assault, available here.
  • Through PCYC Bornhoffen’s Leadership Development Centre, the Catalyst program has been delivered in Logan, with more planned in the coming months. Logan also continues to see success through its student re-engagement program, and an anti-knife crime campaign with local police.
  • Yarrabah’s ‘Paint 4 Pride’ and ‘Deadly Gainz’ programs continue to mentor young people in the community.

  • Responding directly to identified community need, the Boat Licence program on Palm Island has supported a number of young people to obtain their boat licences. This has directly reduced offences, as well as given the community an important resource.
  • The Peer Support Program continues in Rockhampton, with six adolescents being recruited and trained as peer mentors, also leading to a research partnership with The Cairns Institute at James Cook University.
  • Several boys and young men from Mornington Island attended mentoring programs in Cairns, representing their first trip off the Island for some.
  • Following a youth forum in Bowen a group of young people were invited to attend and present at a local Council meeting by the Whitsundays Regional Council Mayor Willcox. Hearing the young people’s voices has led Council to a deeper partnership to deliver better initiatives for teenagers.

  • Safer Communities Coordinators (SCCs) in all 13 sites continue to engage with young people, as well as maintaining relationships already formed. Research shows these medium to longer term relationships are one of the single most important protective factors for young people.
  • PCYC Queensland programs such as Deep Blue Line, Team-Up, RUBY, Girls United, Drumbeat and Love Bites are all being delivered in Toowoomba, Inala, Townsville and Deception Bay. Outreach sport and cultural activities, Edor Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander sport, and late-night basketball programs are also amongst many other activities provided.

Click here for more information on other personal and leadership development programs.