THE Coffs/Clarence Police District, Crime Prevention Unit aims to provide youth from socially disadvantaged and multicultural backgrounds with recognition of their continual positive engagement with police through an initiative called Youth Active Rewards Program (YARP).
YARP is designed to engage young people in the Coffs/Clarence Police District who have been identified as investing positively in themselves through their school attendance, Youth Command Programs such as Fit4Life or have been identified by police personnel and stakeholder groups.
The reward programs are available to all young people who make the effort to improve their own personal circumstances including, importantly, those that have previously come in contact with the criminal justice system and have been redirected from further offending.
The main purpose of YARP is to reward and build positive relationships between the NSW Police Force and local youth with a focus on resilience, rapport building and leadership.
YARP also focuses on providing opportunities for youth to gain experiences that may not have otherwise been afforded to them such as fishing, surfing and mountain bike riding.
Last week, a group of Indigenous young people engaged in a day’s fishing at Urunga and participated in workshops conducted by Melanie Buhler, Education Officer (North Coast), Fisheries & Aquaculture Management, NSW Department of Primary Industries.
Senior Constable Daniel Dunn, Crime Prevention Officer for the Coffs/Clarence Police District said, “The program has made massive inroads into the prevention of crime by young people.
“For example, one young man, who has been very negative towards the police, spent the entire day fishing with me.
“YARP breaks down the barriers between young people and police,” he added.
This rewarding experience for the young people was fully funded through the NSW Police Force, Aboriginal Strategic Direction – Crime Prevention Grants and supported by a number of other organisations and volunteers.
By Andrew VIVIAN