PCYC’s Safe Space ini­tia­tive in dan­ger of clos­ing down

Geraldton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - Tamra Carr

Ger­ald­ton po­lice be­lieve the PCYC Safe Space ini­tia­tive, which moves about 100 un­su­per­vised chil­dren from the Ger­ald­ton fore­shore to Won­thella ev­ery Thurs­day evening, is re­spon­si­ble for a drop in re­ports of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour in the CBD, but cen­tre man­ager Talya Quinn said there’s not enough money to make the pro­gram last.

Safe Space is sur­viv­ing on a $24,394 grant from WA Po­lice, which is only pre­dicted to carry the ini­tia­tive un­til July.

A re­view of Safe Space Ger­ald­ton showed 374 youth vis­ited PCYC in Septem­ber — 319 chil­dren were flagged as youth at risk of com­mit­ting a crime and 55 had al­ready of­fended.

The same re­view de­ter­mined only five of 15 ju­ve­niles re­ferred to the youth cen­tre by WA Po­lice re­of­fended in that pe­riod, no fight­ing or other in­ci­dents were re­ported, and there were notes of bet­ter be­hav­iour and man­ners.

“The pro­gram can never stop,” Ms Quinn warned.

“Oth­er­wise we’ll see the same prob­lems on the fore­shore hap­pen­ing again.”

Last week dur­ing com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ini­tia­tive Cof­fee with a Cop, Se­nior Sergeant Brad Bird said po­lice would be present at

or­gan­ised youth ac­tiv­i­ties to help keep chil­dren busy and curb youth crime over sum­mer.

He noted the suc­cess of Safe Space and urged com­mu­nity mem­bers to throw their sup­port be­hind the pro­gram and vol­un­teer.

To con­tact Ger­ald­ton PCYC, phone 9921 1317.

Ger­ald­ton PCYC 2017-18 an­nual re­port find­ings.

By June 2018, at­ten­dance hit highs of roughly 130 chil­dren, in­clud­ing ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers.

Roughly 92 per cent of youth were Abo­rig­i­nal; 63 per cent were boys and 37 per cent were girls.

Pro­gram at­ten­dance for teenage girls was the high­est of any youth pro­gram in Ger­ald­ton.

Pic­ture: Tamra Carr

Talya Quinn

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