Program to prevent rising violence on the Central Coast

Youth violence on the Central Coast continues to rise with recent reports showing young people are increasingly engaging in assaults that are filmed at school.

To help arrest this growing trend, the Bateau Bay Police Citizen Youth Club has launched a new education and mentoring program, Looking After Number One, which aims to educate at-risk and troubled youths about the effects of violence and the consequences of committing assault-related offences.

Funded by nib foundation, the 10-week program will see around 60 young people take part in a number of weekly activities that not only address immediate crime prevention matters, but also wellbeing issues including health and nutrition, the importance of fitness and exercise, education and leadership.

Bateau Bay PCYC Manager, Senior Constable Racquel Hassett, said they are working with local high schools to identify students from 14 to 16 years of age that are having difficulty attending school, as well as those who have been suspended for assault or bullying related incidents.

“Many of these teenage can have a number of complex factors contributing to their behaviours. We are looking to equip them with a number of important life skills and also support them with mentors to help guide them through what is an impressionable time in their life,” Senior Constable Hassett said.

“Exercise and healthy eating are some of the fundamental components of the program, as is attending school each day, which is a pre-requisite to participate.

“We also work through a number crime prevention modules on topics that will provide them with a greater understanding of consequences and assist them in making better and more positive choices throughout their lives.”

nib foundation Chairman, Keith Lynch, said that this program is taking a positive approach to address youth issues in the region.

“For many of the participants, this is the first time they have been provided with this level of support and guidance,” Mr Lynch said.

“Supporting the health of our next generation is fundamental to nib foundation’s charter and we believe this program will achieve fantastic results for many at-risk youths on the Central Coast.”

For more information about the Looking After Number One program visit www.pcycnsw.org.au