Mildura: Koori and youth diversion program
Presentation by Superintendent Paul Naylor
The Mildura command is located in Victoria but shares borders with New South Wales and South Australia. This creates a range of cross-border issues and complexities as offenders may reside in one state while committing offences in another. Offenders must be dealt with by the criminal justice system of the state in which the offences are committed. These issues are partly overcome by police in the border areas of each state being sworn members of the other states' police services and legislation being proposed to address problems, such as those surrounding extradition.
The main antecedents of offending in Mildura are drugs and alcohol as well as homelessness and family violence. These problems tend to be interconnected, with each tending to increase the likelihood of the others occurring. In Mildura, while there are relatively few offences which occur as a direct result of drug use, in the experience of police, drug use is often an underlying issue contributing to offending behaviour and social problems.
Programs and initiatives to deal with Indigenous offending in Mildura have focused strongly on listening to communities and engaging with them to address their needs and involve them in resolving crime-related problems. These initiatives have recognised the important role of Indigenous elders in making links between police and communities and have included community meetings to improve local perceptions of police.
Some specific community-level initiatives put in place in Mildura have included:
- establishment of an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer and a general Community Liaison Officer
- development of an Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Program
- streamlining the complaints process
- recruitment of Aboriginal persons into both sworn and unsworn roles through the Structured Training and Employment Project
- provision of prosecutors' support to Koori Court and Koori Children's Court. This has included working to alter public and community perceptions about Koori Courts, creating awareness that the Courts are stringent, with magistrates handing down strong penalties when appropriate
- establishment of the Mildura District Aboriginal and Police Liaison Committee.
Another valuable initiative in Mildura that seeks to reduce Indigenous involvement with the criminal justice system has been the Koori Youth Cautioning and Diversion Program, which started in March 2007. The primary aims of the program are to:
- decrease Koori youths' contact with the criminal justice system
- increase access to diversions and other community support programs
- address the underrepresentation of Koori youths in cautioning.
The program covers a full range of offences, but involvement is conditional on the offender making an admission of guilt. The assessment of suitability for involvement in the program also takes into account the offender's prior offences and the needs of the victim in determining whether this is the most appropriate option.
Cautioning and diversion within the program is conducting through the ACLO and the Youth Resource Officer. The ACLO is considered to be an essential part of the process and critical to securing the engagement of families.
The program has increased the rate of cautioning for Koori youths, who were previously underrepresented in this area and hence overrepresented in charging and prosecution. For the period of March 2007 (implementation) to the end of July 2008, there has been an increase in cautions of 45 percent compared with the control period of 2004–05. Follow-ups and referrals have occurred for over 90 percent of these cautions. There are indications that the program is achieving positive results in reducing recidivism, with only a small number of re-offences by those undergoing cautioning and diversion. Of the 57 young people cautioned under the program, only four (7%) have reoffended and only one of these took part in the referral process. Therefore, of the 52 young people cautioned and referred, only one has reoffended at this stage.
Barrier LAC: illicit drug use in Indigenous communities/remote locations. Service access issues
Presentation by Acting Inspector Greg MacMahon
The Barrier Local Area Command (LAC) covers a large area in far western New South Wales with a population of around 28,500. The regional centre is Broken Hill. Most of the larger centres in the LAC have Indigenous populations above the national average. Broken Hill has an Indigenous population of just over six percent, Dareton 19 percent, Ivanhoe 27 percent, Menindee 28 percent and Wilcannia 64 percent. Of the approximately 600 people in Wilcannia, around 400 are Indigenous.
Alcohol represents the biggest substance misuse problem in the Barrier LAC, with a large proportion of incidents requiring police attendance being the result of intoxicated residents. In Wilcannia, street violence resulting from alcohol misuse has lessened in recent times due to a police crackdown, but there are concerns that this may have led to an increase in family violence as more drinking now takes place in private homes.
Drug-related crime is a smaller but significant problem in Barrier, including drug-defined crime such as supply or possession and incidents such as family violence, where drugs are a contributing factor. Despite the prominence of alcohol as a problem, the presenter indicated that the workshop had already given an indication that police in Barrier may not be fully recognising the extent of illicit drug problems. An analysis of crime factors in the three policing clusters within Barrier shows that drug-related crime ranges from eight percent of incidents in the eastern cluster, 24 percent in the Broken Hill cluster to 41 percent in the southern cluster. Alcohol is a factor in 38 percent of incidents in the southern cluster, 43 percent in the eastern cluster and 47 percent in Broken Hill. Domestic and family violence is a factor in 21 percent of incidents in the south, 29 percent in Broken Hill and 49 percent in the east. However, the actual number of incidents is quite low, particularly in the eastern cluster.
Most drug-related incidents within the LAC occur in Broken Hill and Dareton, with few incidents in Wilcannia (where incidents tend to alcohol-related). There have been relatively few drug detections in the LAC, with most occurring in outdoor/public places. Most drug detections have involved cannabis, with small amounts of amphetamines detected, but only a small amount of drug-related detections or prosecutions have involved Indigenous people.
There appears to be an emerging problem with cannabis in the LAC, with seizures being of good quality hydroponic product that appear mainly to be coming from major producers in South Australia. The movement of high quality cannabis through Broken Hill and Dareton appears to be linked to these centres lying along major transportation routes that run from Adelaide through Mildura then into Sydney. It appears that some of the drug transportation routes are run by Indigenous people. Mental health problems are a big issue for New South Wales and Victorian police in the area, with around 30 to 40 percent of mental health interventions linked to drug use, apparently resulting from the high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in hydroponic cannabis.
There is also an emerging problem with amphetamines in the LAC, with the presence of these substances appearing to be increasing. The misuse of volatile substances (e.g. petrol) tends to fluctuate, with no significant problems having been observed in 2006. The fluctuating popularity of volatile substances make them hard to police. As levels of misuse tend to vary, it is difficult to identify patterns or generate intelligence. There have only been small amounts of ice and ecstasy observed in the LAC, with minor quantities of heroin and cocaine.
One consequence of the relatively minor drug problems that have until now affected the LAC is that there are few drug support services in the region. Those services that exist are mainly focused on alcohol abuse issues. Most clients of these services who require drug interventions have to travel far away from the LAC, usually to Melbourne, Adelaide or Orange. This creates major difficulties in service provision and the lack of services may become a serious problem if drug use in the area continues to increase. One positive note is that Aboriginal health services in the region can be very proactive in supporting Aboriginal clients. While these services do not have strong links with police, efforts are actively underway by police to improve this situation.
Policing in Dareton
Presentation by Inspector Mark Rowney
This presentation focused on the response undertaken by local police to a range of offending and antisocial behaviour problems in Dareton, far western New South Wales. Some of the circumstances that have shaped policing responses in Dareton have included the extent of mental health issues among Indigenous people in local hospitals and the occurrence of sexual abuse as a result of drug and alcohol misuse. Another issue is the high mobility rate of Indigenous people through the area, mainly due to family ties in Broken Hill, Wilcannia and other major centres in the region, or to and from Mildura.
Police in Dareton took a very 'back to basics' approach in their policing strategies. A crucial element of this was getting out into the community, getting to know people and understanding their views. This approach gave police insights into the nature of offending and different perspectives to their policing strategies. For example, police observed that most break and enters that occurred did not involve the theft of items such as electronic goods that might be sold to purchase drugs, but food and money to buy food. It was apparent that much offending was motivated by basic needs for sustenance.
One issue that had to be tackled by police in Dareton was the lack of interagency communication between police and other service providers. This was particularly critical given the range of basic needs that had to be addressed to reduce offending. Interagency meetings are now run regularly, involving police, health and education agencies.
Shepparton: OPI corruption prevention and leadership analysis
Presentation by Sergeant John Trebilcock
This presentation covered an Office of Police Integrity (OPI) corruption prevention and leadership analysis which focused on Shepparton Police Station. It must be noted that this was part of the normal process of analysis run by the OPI and was not the result of any particular issues of concern relating to Shepparton. The analysis examined management practices, the efficiency of general day to day functions and overall conduct with a focus on discipline, morale and adherence to instructions and procedures.
A particular focus of the analysis was on communication and relationships between police and the local Indigenous community. There around 6,000 Indigenous people in greater Shepparton. The analysis identified issues between police and the Indigenous community which needed addressing, including the lack of stability and ongoing accountability for roles in managing relationships with the community. The analysis identified the need for formalisation of services and links to the community, including the need for a full time ACLO.
As a result of the analysis, a group which included local Aboriginal representatives and leaders was formed to advise on strategies for improving relationships between police and the Indigenous community. At the same time, a police-based group was formed which focused on resolving local crime and behavioural problems through the implementation of a range of programs and addressing communication issues with the local community.
A range of crime prevention strategies were implemented following the analysis. These included:
- The provision of additional lighting in a city park renowned for the gathering of Koori youth and antisocial behaviour.
- A night patrol bus, operated by Koori people, was established to run on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Increased internal and external CCTV coverage was implemented in local nightclubs by club owners/operators.
- An additional nightshift was put in place with a two member foot patrol on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Cultural awareness camps and induction packages were developed and implemented for newly arriving members of the police force to help them better understand and work with the Indigenous community.
The OPI had some specific requirements as a result of the analysis. The OPI noted the need for police, the VALS Client Service Officer and Aboriginal Community Justice Panel representatives to have a high level of awareness of the role, functions and responsibilities of all agencies and community groups involved in providing justice related service delivery. The OPI also emphasised the need for those agencies and community representatives having responsibility for managing, coordinating, evaluating and reporting on strategies and initiatives concerning police and Koori relationships to operate in a more inclusive manner.
There was also a range of recommendations which resulted from the analysis. These included:
- Establishment of a District Police and Aboriginal Liaison Group, operating as a subcommittee of the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, Local Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee to manage, coordinate and oversee local police/Koori strategies and initiatives.
- Establishment of a District Aboriginal Liaison Team to manage and oversee local police/Koori relationships and the connectivity of those relationships with other multicultural programs.
- Appointment of a full time Aboriginal Police Liaison Officer (APLO) at the rank of Sergeant with responsibility for liaison with and coordination of district and station initiatives.
- Development of a district policy, whereby Leading Senior Constables and the APLO receive cross-cultural training directly relevant to the mandate of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement (AJA2). This should include in-depth knowledge of local Indigenous services and issues and education in good practice frontline policing strategies for building police/Koori community relations.
Another outcome from the analysis was the development of the Greater Shepparton Statement of Cooperation. This was created to specifically address issues involving Indigenous people in police custody and to provide clear guidelines in relation to their care and management. One aim of the Statement is to reduce the number of Indigenous people being arrested by police and detained in police cells. Another aim is to improve communication and liaison and to develop respect and understanding between police and members of the Shepparton Aboriginal community and relevant Aboriginal organisations.
The Shepparton presentation included some of the views of the local ACLOs on their role. The ACLOs emphasised the importance of maintaining flows of information to the police, recognising that their operations are information-driven. The ACLOs have developed a range of programs to assist local youth, such as leadership, sport, education and spiritual and cultural development programs. They saw a need for police, not just in Shepparton but more broadly, to become more directly involved with the community (e.g. through sport and recreation activities). They emphasised the importance of positive involvement in building good relationships with the community and the way in which this involvement could help police get to know local children and their family situations. This could be highly valuable in helping police work with children to address problem behaviours.
Wagga Wagga: Operation Berilda
Presentation by Detective Inspector Rod Smith
Wagga Wagga is a large regional centre in central New South Wales with a population of 65,000, of which four percent are Aboriginal. The presentation outlined the case study of a housing estate which has 40 percent Aboriginal residents and a broad range of antisocial behaviour problems linked to social disadvantage, with alcohol and drug abuse as contributing factors. Local problems included family violence, stealing, break and enter, intimidation and violence, malicious damage, drug supply, child prostitution and other child at risk situations. As well as drugs and alcohol, boredom, inappropriate associations, lack of parental supervision and health/social issues were also contributing problems. Problems in the community culminated in November 2005, centring around the local store. Included were problems of theft and social unrest that attracted very negative local media coverage.
In response to the problems in the estate, police invited government agencies to work cooperatively on solving the problems. The police response incorporated Operation Berilda, implemented as part of the broader Buwanha Miya program. Police developed operational, tactical and strategic plans. A series of interagency meetings over the following 18 months, under the auspices of a steering committee, failed to reach agreement on a collaborative plan involving the various agencies. Little progress was able to be achieved during this time, other than appointment of a Community Action Plan Worker for the estate. The Buwanha Miya program ceased, but Operation Berilda continued involving only police in partnership with the Department of Housing.
Towards mid-2008, problems at the housing estate received a renewed focus following an increase in the level of criminal behaviour and high level state and Commonwealth government interest. Police commenced one deployment of members to the estate each week. A living map was developed by a police intelligence analyst, which involved an interactive map that provided details of the residents of each house and their documented histories. This map allowed police to conduct a full risk assessment of the estate and to properly determine who was actually living in each home. In some cases, a greater number of people were living in homes than had been approved by housing authorities and police were able to pass relevant information to housing authorities to make appropriate arrangements for the residents. The map and risk assessment also enabled police to determine whether each household was likely to respond to police in a friendly or hostile manner. Intelligence was also gathered on vehicles in the estate, drugs, alcohol and firearms issues and the antisocial behaviour of young people.
Some elements of the response program focused on the physical and social issues of the estate by dealing with:
- environmental problems (such as rubbish and graffiti)
- truancy and students who had been suspended from school (in conjunction with education authorities)
- the provision of mental health services
- drug and alcohol services
- stray dogs on the estate.
The police response included taking enforcement action to deal with the non-use of bicycle helmets, littering and offensive/language conduct and identifying wanted offenders. Correctional authorities managed residents who were on bail or supervision orders and those recently released from prison. Community services responded to children at risk.
A wide range of results and outcomes were achieved through the Buwanha Miya program and Operation Berilda. A full safety audit was conducted on the estate. A new park and activity centre for children was built, along with a new community centre and sporting equipment that encouraged positive social activity and gave children opportunities to be occupied. A walking bus program encouraged many children to attend school regularly, including some who had not previously been enrolled. Information provided to housing authorities allowed stabilisation of housing arrangements and reduced problems of overcrowding, with evictions being used where necessary. A family violence advertising and education program was implemented in the Wagga Wagga area. Police began ongoing operations to respond to and prevent antisocial behaviour and criminal offending. Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) programs were implemented and an Aboriginal Interagency Liaison Officer, funded through the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, was established to support the existing ACLO.
Early indications are that these interagency initiatives are having a positive impact on antisocial behaviour in the estate, contributing to improvements across a wide range of social measures.
Collingwood: local council issues and urban Indigenous communities
Presentation by Sergeant Tony Loveridge
Collingwood is an area within the city of Greater Melbourne and in the City of Yarra, which has been a traditional homeland for Aboriginal people. Around 750 Aboriginal people live in the local city area. The case study focused on a small area within Collingwood being a street corner located at a traditional gathering place for Aboriginal people. People now meet in this area on a daily basis, often drinking together. This drinking tends to lead to public drunkenness, criminal behaviour, violence, offensive and unsociable behaviour. There are associated problems with drug use, homelessness and with physical and mental health issues. The behaviour has led to confrontation and poor relations between police and Aboriginal people, a lack of understanding within the local Aboriginal community about what is acceptable behaviour and why police need to respond to it and concerns from local business operators. There has also been a lack of understanding from police regarding Aboriginal culture and heritage.
As part of the response to these issues, police established an ACLO position for the local area. The ACLO serves as a point of contact with the Indigenous community at known trouble spots within the City of Yarra. The ACLO works within the six major objectives of the AJA2:
- to provide crime prevention and early intervention
- diversion/strengthening of alternatives to imprisonment
- reduce reoffending
- reduce victimisation
- provide responsive and inclusive services
- strengthen community justice responses.
One of the functions of the ACLO has been to help police to develop partnerships with the local council and Aboriginal organisations and assist with counselling Aboriginal community members with alcohol problems. The ACLO provides a point of contact for City of Yarra police members regarding Indigenous issues and provides guidance and direction to local members regarding cultural or politically sensitive information. Another function of the ACLO is to assist local police and support groups in steering local Indigenous people towards a greater awareness of their culture and encourage Indigenous members of the community to report criminal matters. Linked to this is a role in being a continuing point of contact for Indigenous victims of crime. The ACLO has also developed and enhanced Victoria Police service delivery principles.
Police sought the imposition of bans on drinking on the streets in the problem area, however this was refused by the local council for a range of reasons. The Council lacks services in the area to help people experiencing alcohol and health problems. They were also concerned that street bans would displace drinking to other areas or into homes where it would be harder for services to identify and access those with drinking and health problems. Council also cited issues of inequity and discrimination as the bans targeted Aboriginal people, while more affluent people could continue to drink outside at licensed bars and cafes.
Police then developed three key strategies to deal with the continued problematic behaviour. Establishment of a sobering-up facility would provide accommodation for intoxicated persons and diversion from the hospital system, and allow the health and wellbeing of people to be monitored while they sobered up. Development of a community cultural centre, run by Aboriginal people, would provide a place of gathering and a pathway out of harmful alcohol consumption. Implementation of a mobile assistance patrol would provide transport of intoxicated people to an appropriate place, ensuring they did not harm themselves or others.
Police efforts to work with the local council and the state Indigenous Affairs agency in implementing these strategies are continuing.
Redfern: urban issues. Overview of recent history of drug law enforcement and policing in Redfern
Presentation by Superintendent Luke Freudenstein
Redfern is an inner-city area of Sydney, which has traditionally had a large Indigenous population. Parts of Redfern have been affected over a period of decades by criminal and antisocial behavioural problems, typically involving violence and street crime in surrounding areas. This has been accompanied by sometimes very poor relations between police and the Aboriginal community.
Alcohol has been the main issue and contributor to problems. Illicit drugs have become a huge problem more recently, with police first identifying an organised network distributing cannabis and heroin in the late 1980s. The main illicit drug problem has been heroin use and dealing, but cannabis has emerged as a growing problem. In the Redfern area, there is a large overrepresentation of Aboriginal people across various types of offences and drug use among Aboriginal people in the area is increasing at the same time that it is decreasing in the general community.
Crime prevention efforts in Redfern have been strongly linked to the relationship between police and the Aboriginal Housing Corporation. Efforts on both sides have resulted in the development and maintenance of a good relationship in recent years.
Redfern has been the site of some serious disturbances in recent years. Reaction to these incidents has included granting a large amount of state government funding. Local government also plays an important role by keeping the area clean and free of garbage which helps residents maintain their respect for the area. After a disturbance in 2004, a review concluded that human services in the area were poorly integrated and this is an issue that requires continuing efforts to address.
The head of the Aboriginal Housing Corporation, Mick Mundine, noted in a video shown during the presentation, that a contributing factor to the disturbances that followed the death of a young person in Redfern was people who brought their own issues and agendas to the situation, helping to build feelings of anger and unrest. Mr Mundine noted that it was important for Aboriginal people to take ownership of the issues and recognise that they are the ones committing offences and selling drugs etc. The presenter also noted that it was not only Aboriginal people supplying drugs in Redfern, but Lebanese and Chinese people as well, and police recognised that it was not just an Aboriginal issue.
Redfern police have staged a number of major operations in recent history. These have typically resulted in violent confrontations with only short-term gains, where drug dealing and other criminal behaviour resume shortly after the operations. Recent strike forces have reduced the number of robberies in the area and led to drug arrests, but again with drug dealing resuming shortly after. One of the most positive impacts for policing has been a reduction in the overall numbers of people living in those areas where many of the problems have been centred. A consequence of this has been that police are able to stage more realistic targeting of problem houses.
In recent years, police have implemented a range of initiatives in Redfern and broader areas to address antisocial behaviour, improve social networking and build better relationships between the police and the community. These have included:
- introduction of the Young Offenders Act 1997
- youth mentoring, drawing on talented and 'good kids' as mentors
- midnight basketball
- Redfern-Waterloo case coordination to improve the provision of services across the local area
- Street Bus/Street Beat team
- 'Horse Whisperer' program
- working in close liaison with the local Aboriginal men's and women's groups
- greater police involvement in community activities
- introduction of family violence programs, including a Family Violence Taskforce and Inner City Domestic Violence Group
- introduction of an 'anti-violence in schools' program
- community family days, with positive police involvement
- introduction of alcohol-free zones.
A range of direct crime prevention strategies have also been implemented in and around the problematic areas in Redfern, including a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design review which resulted in over 100 recommendations, removal of fencing in certain areas, a clean up of garbage and other environmental problems and the removal of derelict housing. The City of Sydney Council has taken over cleaning in the area and has a strong partnership with police.
Police felt that existing procedures and the social networks that have been built with the local community were working well and need to be maintained. At the same time, there is a need for more proactive policing and the development of more positive relationships with the local community. Police also saw value in the provision of education to the wider Aboriginal community on the effects of substance addiction as a way to combat increasing levels of substance misuse.
Macquarie Fields: the Good Kids program
Presentation by Chief Inspector Darrin Wilson
Macquarie Fields is an outer suburb located in the south-west of the Greater Sydney area with a total population in the LAC of approximately 79,000 people. It is an area with a high proportion of public housing, socioeconomic disadvantage and range of social problems. The Aboriginal population of Macquarie Fields (2.5%) is roughly the same as the national average, with around 1,900 people. The unemployment rate for the Aboriginal community is less than the state average. Also, contrary to trends in many other areas, Aboriginal people are underrepresented in offending, being responsible for less than one percent of offences in the LAC. The presenter pointed out that in the LAC, Aboriginal people are not seen as the problem when it comes to crime and behavioural problems, but as the orators of the solution.
In August 2003, Macquarie Fields established a Local Area Command Aboriginal Consultative Committee (LACACC), chaired by the police, with a community member as the secretary. The LACACC has a mix of 30 government and community representatives, meeting tri-monthly. Its recent initiatives have included training for cell support volunteers, an Aboriginal debutante ball and the Good Kids program. The low offending rate among the Aboriginal community allows the LACACC to focus on positive initiatives that enhance the relationship between police and the community, especially among youth. The LAC considers this to be a telling factor in maintaining ongoing low crime rates.
The Good Kids program arose from a number of social disturbances in 2005, known as the Macquarie Fields riots. After the riots, a number of young people were charged with offences. This led to the development of programs for young people involved in the disturbances, such as the development by police of Camp Impact and Camp Dare and the implementation of programs for at risk young people by Youth Off The Streets. However, through the LACACC, the community asked what was being done for the 'good kids'. These were defined as youths who were continuing to demonstrate appropriate behaviours, engaging with education and other social activities and displaying positive community involvement. The community felt that something needed to be done to recognise, reward and encourage these young people.
The Good Kids program targets four of the strategies covered by the Aboriginal Strategic Direction:
- strengthen communication and understanding between police and Aboriginal people
- reduce Aboriginal people's contact with the criminal justice system
- increase Aboriginal cultural awareness in the police force
- divert Aboriginal youth from crime and antisocial behaviour.
The LACACC determined eligibility criteria for young people to take part in the Good Kids program. The program would be open to males and females between 10 and 14 years of age, who were attending school within the Macquarie Fields LAC and who came from a financially or socially disadvantaged environment. To be eligible, the young people had to be attending school regularly, not been suspended or detained and be actively participating in the school community.
The criteria allowed police and the LACACC to gather a large cross section of young boys and girls of Aboriginal descent who had not come under notice of police and work with them to form and improve police and community relations at an early age. The program gave participating youth opportunities beyond their immediate community that their circumstances might otherwise not allow them to experience. It also helped them to maintain a relationship with police and LACACC as they grew and supported them to achieve positive results from life.
Police contacted every school principal in the command and sought recommendations for two Aboriginal students from each school. A total of 36 schools were contacted and police received responses from 30 schools that each gave glowing reports of two students. From this group, police selected 14 students to participate in the first stage of the program.
Through affiliations with the Royal Australian Navy, the 14 students together with four police and a community supervisor, spent three days onboard HMAS Albatross and HMAS Success, experiencing naval life alongside and at sea during exercises between Jervis Bay and Sydney Harbour. A police media officer recorded the event, with a DVD being made available for all participants as well as to school principals to show to other students. The program has attracted very positive feedback from the young students involved and their parents and has seen very good relationships between the young people and police. At the time of the Mildura workshop, police were planning the next rewards program, with selected young people spending three days doing bush walking, camping and abseiling in the Blue Mountains with the police rescue squad.
The presenter emphasised that he saw the Good Kids program as something that could easily be run in any LAC. He saw the key to the success of this, or any other program, as having passionate, committed people who actively want to run and take part in the program.