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2011 Australian Crime & Violence Prevention Awards

Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards

Seven projects received national awards.

Safe from the Start  - The Salvation Army Tasmania (Tasmania)

Award: $15,000 and National Certificate of Merit

‘Safe from the Start’ is an innovative project initiated and designed by The Salvation Army—Tasmania and consists of a Train the Trainer program and a therapeutic resource kit. The project aims to reduce the effects of witnessing domestic violence in children aged 0–6 years via early intervention and a therapeutic approach. The project educates and trains workers in children’s and family services to consider how children experience violence and listen to the voices of children in a positive way. A child who lives with violence is forever changed, but not forever ‘damaged’ and there is a lot that we can do to improve their future prospects.

Funded by the Commonwealth Office for Women and Tasmanian Early Years Foundation, the action research project was developed in partnership with two universities (UTAS & Swinburne). The Train the Trainer program has been conducted in all states and resource kits have been distributed nationally and overseas. The project has been presented at national conferences and an Aboriginal and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) project is being developed.

Contact: Ms Nell Kuilenburg, Development & Research Manager

Burbangana Zoo Awareness Program (New South Wales)

Award: $10,000 and National Certificate of Merit

The Burbangana Zoo Awareness Program is a joint initiative run by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the Department of Human Services—Community Services NSW that gives Indigenous young people in the Minister’s care the opportunity to engage in activities in and around Taronga Zoo. Young people participate in animal handling and husbandry, food preparation, enrichment and landcare, as well as assisting Taronga’s education staff in education programs including lessons, interpretation, Zoomobiles and special projects.

Burbangana aims to ‘Reawaken the Spirit of Belonging’ in its young people, reconnecting and strengthening them in knowledge, spirit, relationships, country and culture. These experiences and activities instil self-confidence and belief in these highly disadvantaged children and assist in reducing the likelihood of the children resorting to criminal activities. The program also assists and encourages the children in their formal education pathways.

Contact: Ms Nardi Simpson

Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation (Northern Territory)

Award: $10,000 and National Certificate of Merit

The Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation is the peak body representing the Larrakia People of the Darwin Region.

Larrakia Nation delivers programs that help overcome exclusion, homelessness, poverty and the trauma experienced by disadvantaged and displaced Aboriginal people throughout the Northern Territory. In 12 months, our 90 percent Aboriginal workforce provided more than 26,500 services to Aboriginal people. We work closely with government and the community sector across the service spectrum including health, justice, housing, child welfare and family support, community transport, accommodation and alcohol and other drugs related programs. Our programs are strong, innovative
and responsive and we are now including a new focus on enterprise development,
so as to create wealth and prosperity for our Aboriginal constituency.

Contact: Ms Ilana Eldridge

Multi-systemic Therapy Program, Department of Health WA (Western Australia)

Award: National Certificate of Merit

WA Health’s MST Program targets children and adolescents (11–16 years) with significant histories of severe behavioural problems. Research indicates these problems predict home and school expulsion, chronic unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health problems, violence, crime and incarceration. Clinicians work in schools and neighbourhoods, but mostly the family home, to teach parents improved communication, monitoring, boundary setting, rewarding positive behaviours and problem solving.

Research staff assessed families for up to one year following the three to five month intervention and discovered improvements in family functioning and mental health endure, with young people exhibiting significantly reduced antisocial activities and violence.

Contact: Mr Mark Porter, MST Program Manager

Domestic Violence Intervention Program-Corrective Services NSW (New South Wales)

Award: National Certificate of Merit

The NSW Domestic Abuse Program (DAP) is a 20 session rehabilitative group intervention program for offenders serving community-based order(s) or custodial sentences for domestic and family violence (DV) related offences.

Statewide rollout and evaluation of DAP commenced in August 2007. At the end of June 2011, 2,555 offenders had commenced a DAP from 32 community probation and parole offices and 14 custodial institutions in New South Wales. The program has a relatively low attrition rate, with close to 80 percent of participants completing treatment.

Development of the program, facilitator training and program delivery is funded by Corrective Services NSW; NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice funds a statewide Domestic and Family Violence Coordinator position and University of New South Wales, School of Forensic Psychology and the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research provide research support and data.

Studies evaluating the effectiveness of the program have showed significant reductions in reoffending rates in the DAP treatment group and a longer time to reoffend, compared with a matched control group (n=1,908). It is also effective for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

Evaluations of other programs for domestic and family abuse perpetrators have generally lacked rigour and failed to detect an appreciable effect on reoffending.

Contact: A/Commissioner Luke Grant

Queensland Police Service ‘Weed It Out’ (WiO) and James Cook University ‘Cape York Cannabis Project’(CYCP) (Queensland)

Award: National Meritorious Police Award

The Weed it Out Project is funded by the Department of Health and Ageing and aims
to reduce the harms associated with cannabis use in Indigenous communities in Cape York and Torres Straits. The fundamental objectives of the project are to change community attitudes to cannabis use and implement crime prevention and supply reduction strategies.

The Cape York Cannabis Project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and its main objective is to encourage a reduction in the demands of cannabis using awareness-raising, community surveys and feedback of information in selected Cape York communities.

Contact: Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Goan

Strike Force Piccadilly Two (New South Wales)

Award: National Meritorious Police Award

In August 2005 Strike Force Piccadilly was established by the Property Crime Squad
as a public-private crime prevention program to investigate identified organised groups of offenders who were or had been committing ATM attack offences, particularly ram raids. Strike Force Piccadilly received an ACVPA Award in 2009 and ended operations in mid-2008.

In July 2008, Strike Force Piccadilly was restructured as Strike Force Piccadilly Two,
as the types of investigations undertaken were significantly altered as a result of the commencement of ‘gas attacks’, which involve breaching the ATM using an explosive gas and accessing the cash contents. This method had been seen in a number
of countries since the beginning of this century, particularly in Europe, but had not previously occurred in Australia. Over a period of 18 months, 63 gas attack offences were then committed in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area. On one particular night, a total of four ATM gas attack offences were committed. These offences bought intense community, media and government interest.

Strike Force Piccadilly Two had two aims: to detect and incapacitate offenders, particularly those criminal gangs involved in gas attacks on ATMs; and the use of protective countermeasures (eg gas detection equipment, bollards etc) and the proviso of forensic assistance by project partners. At its height, SF Piccadilly Two comprised some 50 police who were assigned to the investigation including detectives, analysts and forensic police. It addition to gas attacks on ATMs it conducted investigations into armed robbery, ATM ram raid and ‘on-site cut’ offences, as well as numerous other associated offences; and provided a 24/7 on-call response to Police Local Area Commands to assist with the initial investigation of offences.

As a result of investigations undertaken by SF Piccadilly Two, 23 offenders were charged with a total of 212 offences relating to the commission of ATM gas attacks, armed robbery and related offences.

The significant impact SF Piccadilly Two had in stopping the commission of this type of offence was highlighted by the rapid decline in the number of ATM gas attacks in New South Wales, with the last known attempted ATM gas attack being in September 2009. This offence was unsuccessful and the lack of further offences is attributed predominantly to the actions and arrests made by SF Piccadilly Two.

Another significant initiative resulting from SF Piccadilly Two investigations was the formation of the ATM & Cash in Transit (CIT) Working Party. Through the efforts of
the ATM-CIT Working Group, police and industry stakeholders have worked, and are continuing to work, cooperatively to implement preventative strategies that take into account the changing nature of ATM attack offences and armed robberies.

Contact: Detective Superintended Greig Newbery