Northern Territory Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield
Expanded Hours At Alice Springs Youth Drop-In Centres And Night Patrol
Victor P Taffa
Northern Territory Government is breaking the cycle of crime and anti-social behaviour in Alice Springs through a comprehensive plan, which includes expanded hours with night patrol and youth drop-in centres now operating 7 days a week.
“Territory Government is listening to Centralians who have had enough of crime, youth crime, and anti-social behaviour. The Breaking the Cycle plan gives us a better chance of breaking the cycle of crime and keeps Alice Springs safer.” Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield said.
Tangentyere Council Brown Street Youth Drop-In Centre, The Gap Youth and Community Centre, and the Tangentyere Night Patrol previously only operated for 5 days a week. Both youth drop-in centres have also extended their bus services to ensure that young people get home safely.
“Tangentyere Night patrol service is a culturally safe service that works to keep the Alice Springs community safe. The expanded hours will ensure that the service is able to transport people home or to a safe place, but most importantly offer support and provide safety for vulnerable people during the night.” Tangentyere Night Patrol Divisional Manager Maree Corbo said.
New operating hours are:
- Tangentyere Night Patrol– Everyday 6 pm-3 am
- Tangentyere Council Brown Street Youth Drop-In Centre– Sunday to Thursday 5:30 pm-9:30 pm. Friday and Saturday 5:30 pm-12:00 am
- The Gap Youth and Community Centre– Everyday 4 pm-10 pm
“The Gap is open from 4 pm daily where young people have an opportunity to engage in positive activities. The most important thing about the centre is that young people know that the GAP is a safe place and that they can talk to staff about any concerns they have, or about opportunities they want to take up and we support them to achieve this. We also provide a safe ride home for any young people who attend the centre.” Gap Youth and Community Centre CEO Michelle Krauer said.
Youth drop-in centres provide regular, safe, and structured activities for at-risk young people. Activities are all focused on health and well-being, positive socialisation, and educational activities.
These include learning how to cook healthy meals, sports competitions, movie nights, overnight camps, computer skills development, music-making, writing and performing.
“As a result of the expanded hours at Brown Street, young people have the opportunity to engage in numerous programs including the healthy eating and cooking program, ‘Look After Yourself’. The program also provides young people with the opportunity to learn about hygiene and healthy relationships.” Brown Street Drop-in Centre Youth Services Coordinator Robele Yishake said.
Tangentyere Night Patrol helps get young people off the streets at night and also provide assistance to people sleeping rough.
Expanded hours for night patrols and youth drop-in centres, is part of the Territory Government’s Breaking the Cycle plan to tackle youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Alice Springs. Other initiatives include:
- Appoint 7 Youth Engagement Night Officers (YENO’s) to work 7 days a week from 8 pm-3 am with young people who are on the street (and regularly involved in crime) and get them on a better path. YENO’s will support Northern Territory Police, Territory Families and non-government youth services. A trial of the new service was conducted during the Easter school holidays. (In effect 28 June)
- More mobile CCTV cameras in anti-social behaviour hot spots. (Already in effect)
- 2 School Engagement Officers to work with young people who have been identified as being disengaged from schooling. These officers have been appointed. (Already in effect)
- 3 School Compliance Officers to work with young people when attempts to increase school attendance has not been successful. These officers have been appointed. (Already in effect)
- Create an Aboriginal-led Youth Outreach Service. A team of senior, respected Aboriginal outreach workers will provide advice and support to youth engagement officers and mentor Aboriginal youth, drawing on the cultural authority of the Tangentyere Council Men’s Four Corners Group and Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group. (In effect 1 July)