Return on Investment
Northampton Police have relaunched their local PCYC Blue Light Activity Centre.
There are currently 31 registered Blue Light Activity Centres (in Regional WA) which are aligned directly with police stations. Generally the OIC or a delegated police officer is the facilitator supported by other staff and community volunteers.
Northampton OIC Sergeant Matt Donkin said following the appointment of a Blue Light Youth Activities Coordinator, the range of programs on offer has expanded and this had led to high levels of engagement by local youth and a corresponding reduction in offending.
“During the recent school holidays we had little to no crime attributed to youth,” he said.
“Facilitating the Activity Centre takes minimal effort and is a great return on the time invested. We’ve engaged a number of at-risk kids and the entire community has been extremely supportive,” Sgt Donkin said.
“I come from a crime background and have to say I was somewhat sceptical about the benefit of community - and particularly youth - engagement. Never did I imagine I would be driving a Coaster bus with 30 kids to the swimming pool - however the results speak for themselves. Those results have led to some significant donations from locals who are appreciative of what we’re doing to engage with youth whose boredom may otherwise lead them down a less desirable path.”
Just a sample of the initiatives so far include:
- Monthly movie nights in the Court House appropriately titled ‘Court House Cinema'. Attendance ranges from 75 to 141!
- Excursion to Geraldton PCYC for Laser Tag and dodge ball.
- Excursion to Kalbarri for mini golf and nature playground.
- Excursion to Geraldton swimming pool
- More than 130 kids participating in the school holiday program.