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2009 National anti-crime award winners announced

Media Release

29 October 2009

Eight ground-breaking projects tackling crime and violence have won national recognition at the 2009 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The ACVPA is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments which rewards outstanding community-based projects which reduce or prevent crime and violence.

The awards were presented by Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor at Parliament House in Canberra today. The winning projects, selected from a field of 60 national nominations, this year focused on domestic violence, youth, alcohol-related crime and community safety.

Mr O'Connor said each winning project had achieved outstanding results, such as drops in crime rates or offending of more than 80 percent.

"A common theme among nominees was groups and organisations working together in partnership to tackle crime and violence. It is inspiring to see communities coming together to achieve sustainable changes in combating violence and crime," Mr O'Connor said.

"This year's winning projects highlight the importance of breaking the cycle of domestic and family violence, working with vulnerable young people, and the importance of partnerships between government agencies and community groups."

The 2009 national winning projects, which each received a certificate and $10,000 or $15,000, are:

  • The Weld To Life Program (WA): An intervention strategy for young offenders and youth at risk led by the Rockingham Police & Community Youth Clubs (PCYC) that teaches valuable hands-on work skills for careers in the metals trades and has achieved an 83 percent reduction in offending by participants.
  • It All Starts At Home (Vic): A project led by Melbourne's Inner South Community Health Service, which works with abusive adolescents and their parents to break the cycle of inter-familial violence and increase community awareness of the issue.
  • Time For Kids Placement Program (SA): Operating since 1960 to assist more than 4500 disadvantaged children and families throughout South Australia by providing respite care for positive childhood experiences and a break from stressful home life.
  • Promoting Peace In Families (Vic): A community partnership in Melbourne's City of Casey uniting government, public health services and faith leaders from various denominations and ethnic groups to stop domestic violence.
  • Under The Limit Drink Driving Education and Rehabilitation Program (Qld): A state-wide drink driving prevention and rehabilitation program which has delivered a 55 percent reduction in subsequent drink driving behaviour by serious repeat offenders.
  • Fitzroy Crossing Liquor Restriction Enforcement - Kartiya Future, Brighter Future (WA): A project which has empowered a remote community by limiting the sale of full-strength alcohol to achieve an 11 percent reduction in drink driving and 28 percent reduction in domestic violence.
  • Strike Force Piccadilly (NSW): A partnership between NSW Police and private sector stakeholders which successfully halted the spread of automatic teller machine ram raids.
  • Frankston Police, Mission Australia and Community Youth Assist Program (Vic): A program which develops action plans for vulnerable youth, their parents and social services which has diverted a significant number of young people from contact with the criminal justice system.

The Weld To Life Program, Western Australia

This is a highly successful intervention program for young people who have committed an offence or are at risk of offending. It aims to reduce offending behaviour among youth in the Rockingham/Kwinana area through an intensive work-ready training program.

Participants are often repeat offenders, referred by their schools, parents, or juvenile justice and child protection agencies. The nine-month program teaches valuable skills through hands-on activity, mentoring and structured education to allow young people to experience a career in the metals trades.

Key outcomes:

  • Five-fold reduction in absenteeism
  • 83% reduction in offences committed by students
  • 80% of graduated participants in further training, employed or back at school

It All Starts At Home, Victoria

This project highlights the importance of preventing adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) through awareness raising and capacity building with parents, children and service providers.

Existing research indicates that when male adolescents use violence against their parents there is an increased risk that they will use violence against partners in later life. Research conducted by this project has informed the recommendations of the National Plan to reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children.

Key outcomes:

  • Produced more than 22,000 AVITH parent resource booklets
  • 90% of parents who attended support groups reported positive outcomes
  • More than 400 community welfare services and individuals provided with information

Time For Kids Placement Program, South Australia

This program provides regular respite care for disadvantaged children in South Australia by placing them with volunteer carers on a part-time basis.

More than 4500 'at risk' children have been linked with families across the state since the program began in 1960 to prevent them becoming involved in offending, homelessness or dropping out of the education system.

Key outcomes:

  • 153 households currently caring for 163 children
  • Enduring relationships between children and carers that outlast the program
  • No child involved in the program has even been involved with the juvenile justice system

Promoting Peace In Families, Victoria

This program commenced in January 2007 and is led by the City of Casey in Melbourne's south-east.

It is an innovative partnership uniting government, the public health sector and faith leaders that demonstrates a new frontier in family violence prevention.

This project targets faith leaders from various denominations, suburbs and ethnic groups to teach them about family violence and how to respond by intervening effectively with victims and perpetrators, and educating congregations and the broader community about unacceptable behaviour and healthy relationships.

Key outcomes:

  • Congregations totalling more than 4000 people reached
  • 128 senior community leaders so far participating in the program
  • The project has helped to form strong inter-faith, secular and non-secular relationships

Under The Limit Drink Driving Education and Rehabilitation Program, Queensland

This 11-week drink driving prevention and rehabilitation program began as a pilot program in central Queensland in 1993. It is offered in association with a probation order through the Queensland Magistrates Courts has been successfully rolled out across the state.

The program has rehabilitated many drink-driving offenders, reduced alcohol-related crashes and trauma and the crime of drink-driving.

Key outcomes:

  • 8500 offenders so far referred through the program
  • Used as a model for similar programs in NSW, WA and the ACT
  • A 55 percent reduction in subsequent drink driving behaviour by serious repeat offenders

Fitzroy Crossing Liquor Restriction Enforcement - Kartiya Future, Brighter Future, WA

Developed and delivered by Marinwarntikura Fitzroy Women's Resource and Legal Centre and Western Australia Police, with the support of many prominent Indigenous elders, this project restricts the sale of alcohol from licensed premises.

Liquor Restriction Enforcement has provided a better way of life in Fitzroy Crossing, whose mostly Indigenous residents are now developing their community because for the first time, they can visualise a future for themselves and their children.

Key outcomes:

  • A 28% reduction in domestic violence reported to local police
  • Less alcoholism, less violence and improving health in the community

Strike Force Piccadilly, New South Wales

This NSW Police initiative, beginning in August 2005, addresses an upsurge in ram-raids on automatic teller machines. The project involved a partnership between NSW Police and private sector stakeholders via consultation, cooperative research, information sharing and a commitment to preventive measures.

The initiative included a police priority alarm system, the application of proven prevention measures and the development of a risk assessment tool and intelligence reports on all attempted ram raids.

Key outcomes:

  • Offences reduced from 69 in the year prior to the initiative to 19 in the final 12 months
  • The number of successful raids reduced from 30 to 2 in the same period

Frankston Police, Mission Australia and Community Youth Assist Program, Victoria

This program targets vulnerable youth 'at risk' as potential victims or offenders, displaying anti-social behaviour or in situations of social and economic disadvantage in Melbourne's Frankston area.

It aims to avert their involvement in the criminal justice system, reduce recidivism and provide pathways to education, health and employment by developing action plans for the youth, their parents and youth workers to address the underlying behavioural and environmental causes of their problems.

Key outcomes:

  • The rate of diversions from the criminal justice system increased from 4 to 14.8%
  • Of 188 program graduates, only six (3%) have re-offended

Media contacts: Scott Kelleher 0418 159525, Caterina Giugovaz 0418 221798.
For detail on the awards visit www.aic.gov.au/crime_community/acvpa.aspx