Police youth hub
A youth hub which would meet recreational and educational needs for local young people outside of the school system could be built in Deniliquin.
A proposal to develop such a facility has been put forward by Deniliquin Murray River Police District officers, with the former Deniliquin Police barracks building recommended as the location.
The barracks is a heritage listed building and previously housed Deniliquin detectives before the new Deniliquin Police Station was built.
Located next to the new station — at the corner of Hardinge and Charlotte Sts— the youth hub would still be part of the police station complex but separated from operational areas by fences.
The facility is expected to include meeting spaces, a half-court basketball court, barbecue facilities and potentially a garden.
Deniliquin-based Detective Inspector Jy Brown said its development would depend on financial support and co-operation from local organisations.
He said ‘‘in principle’’ support has been offered already by Edward River Council, Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre, Family and Community Services, NSW Health, NSW Department of Education and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The next stages of the development will be discussed at an inaugural meeting on the proposal on Thursday next week (July 19).
‘‘Our intention is to put forward a business case for a multi-purpose youth hub, through the NSW Police Force, to the NSW Government,’’ Det Insp Brown said.
‘‘The idea is to have both police and other agencies run programs from the hub, with the old barracks purposely remodelled to accommodate need.
‘‘We want to give our youth somewhere to go that is not at the station, which can be a bit confronting.
‘‘We still need to look at what individual agency needs are, but it could potentially be used to run forums on building employment skills, careers information or a number of other things.
‘‘Our hope is to also include a half basketball court and provide barbecue facilities for people to use. The children might even like to build a garden there and do a bit of other landscaping. ‘‘Of course it will all depend on funding.’’ Det Insp Brown said the proposal was born out of discussions with local agencies, which he said highlighted the lack of programs and outlets in which to engage and interact with local youth.
‘‘It all came about when it became clear a previous request to start a PCYC (PoliceCitizens Youth Club) in Deniliquin was not able to fulfilled,’’ he said.
‘‘We also look at it as a way to improve the relationship police have with the youth of Deniliquin, with the ultimate goal of reducing youth crime and reoffending.’’
Plans and costings for the youth hub are yet to be developed. Det Insp Brown said the first step is to create a business case, which he said would be developed with input from each of the potential partner organisations.
He said this process would begin at the meeting on July 19. It is then hoped a decision on whether the development can proceed will be known by the end of this year.
Det Insp Brown said anyone who has any ideas about programs or facilities for the proposed youth hub is welcome to contact him at the Deniliquin Police Station on 5881 9299.