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Car theft, burglary and youth projects win national crime prevention awards

Media Release

24 October 2002

Community-based projects that engage young people and reduce car theft and burglary have won national awards worth $10,000 each at the annual Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards today.

Presented by Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, the annual Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards are a joint Commonwealth, State and Territory initiative to encourage efficient and cost effective prevention projects.

Senator Ellison said the awards are designed to raise and maintain public awareness of the importance of preventing violence not just punishing it.

"These awards were designed to reward the most outstanding projects that prevent or reduce crime and violence in Australia, to encourage public initiatives, and to help governments identify and develop practical projects to reduce crime and violence in the community," Senator Ellison said.

"This year's national winners have shown the value of engaging the community in measures to combat crime and violence and demonstrated that positive local projects can have national significance."

The four national awards went to the following projects:

  • The BADYAC Flexi School in Queensland, which has seen a 90 per cent reduction in youth criminal activity and involvement with police by offering socially isolated 14-20 year-olds an alternative daytime program. The project encourages young participants to develop their potential by working to a personal development plan, engaging in social and educational enrichment and forming strong networks in the community.
  • South Australia's CAR SAFE project has reduced motor vehicle theft and interference at car park "hot spots" by 25 per cent since it started in 1999. Car Safe has achieved this reduction by increasing public awareness, deterring offenders and developing and installing a cheap anti-theft device for cars manufactured between 1970 and 1990-those more frequently stolen because they are generally not fitted with engine immobilisers.
  • Tasmania's Project Samaritan, run by Police and Neighbourhood Watch volunteers, has reduced the number of repeat burglaries by providing victims with crime prevention advice and support. As well as cutting repeat burglary numbers from 616 to 382 since it went statewide in 1999, Project Samaritan has encouraged victims to be more security conscious and enhanced customer satisfaction with police.
  • HYPE (Hillary's Youth Project Enquiry) in Western Australia has reduced young people's level of anti-social behaviour, damage to property and contact with the criminal justice system. HYPE set up a team of workers who establish credibility with young people, identify their negative behaviours and reasons for those behaviours and inform them of the consequences of their actions. The project has negotiated a new protocol with local police and security, who only get involved after all other avenues of intervention fail.

Special Awards for Major Technological Innovation and Design worth $5000 were awarded to:

  • The Virtual House project from Victoria - an interactive computer program that allows visitors to "walk" through a typical suburban home where they are given basic security tips.
  • The SafeCity Urban Design Strategy from Western Australia which sets out principles and design recommendations to prevent crime, to "design-out" the opportunity for crime and to encourage the planning of safer surroundings.

A further 37 projects will share $91 000, and 24 projects will receive certificates of merit.