VicPol Corporate

Partnerships are essential to preventing harm, disrupting youth gang activity, and connecting youth gang members with appropriate support services.

Engaging at-risk young people with support services is proven to reduce the likelihood of reoffending6.

We will work with our partners to quickly identify those at risk of becoming entrenched in gang lifestyles and identify referral pathways to enable their integration into the community.

We will work with our partners to identify those youth gang members causing the most harm to our community and develop coordinated disruption activities to dismantle their networks.

Ultimately, addressing the issue of youth gangs is a shared responsibility that requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach.

Prevention

We will strengthen our partnerships with other key agencies, government, and the private sector to intervene early and share skills and resources before violent behaviour and offending escalates.

This shared intelligence, especially contributions from health agencies and schools, will allow Victoria Police to better identify at-risk youth early on and have greater oversight on the most up-to-date and appropriate support services for effective intervention.

Detection

Victoria Police will work proactively with partner agencies to share information, intelligence, and strategies to identify youth gang members and their activities.

This will be achieved through strengthening and further developing data-sharing arrangements with partner agencies and maintaining expectations and obligations around the timeliness of information provision.

Disruption

Utilising a coordinated holistic approach, police will work in partnership across agencies to disrupt and dismantle youth gangs.

Enhanced information sharing and multidisciplinary engagement will make it difficult and increasingly undesirable for youth gang members to conduct harmful activities in the community.

Those youth who are open to engaging in prosocial programs, offered through our government and non-government partners, with the proactive policing support have had great success. These actions, such as sporting and mentoring programs provide at-risk youth with alternatives to committing crimes

Detective Sergeant, Regional Operations

Case studies

Blue EDGE

Blue EDGE is a holistic program run by Blue Light in partnership with Victoria Police that combines physical training, mentoring and life skills for at-risk young people.

Blue EDGE aims to foster positive relationships between young people, their peers, and police to reduce crime through prevention.

Blue EDGE focuses on engaging participants socially, creating wider support networks and linking participants with local services and opportunities to promote positive behaviours and instil a positive mindset.

Girl in Charge program

The Girl in Charge program is designed for Year 9 and 10 girls to provide them tools to better themselves through fostering a positive self-image and achieve healthy goals.

The program is run by Victoria Police on the Surf Coast.

The program involves supporting participants to study and become foundation netball umpires.

Participants also attended sessions related to nutrition, public speaking, and goal setting.

Embedded Youth Outreach Program

The Embedded Youth Outreach Program (EYOP) is a collaborative initiative that pairs a police officer with a youth worker to provide an after-hours secondary response to young people coming into contact with police.

Together, the pair respond to police interactions with young people, engaging with young people in the field or at a police station to assess their needs and provide initial support, assessment and referral to youth-specific supports.

Our role

  • Working to deepen connections and develop partnership models with government departments, NGOs, schools and health services to leverage capabilities, share intelligence and provide referrals to relevant support services to at-risk children and young people.
  • Collaborating with national law enforcement and intelligence agencies to inform the development of effective operational responses to identify and act on opportunities to dismantle youth gangs.
  • Working with and educating our partners on their role in identifying at-risk young people and reporting these cases to Victoria Police when they see it.

What will success look like?

  • Rapid referrals to partner agencies and appropriate support services for at-risk young people which result in positive engagement with education, employment, and family and break the cycle of offending.
  • Knowledge and data sharing between all agencies that improve Victoria Police’s understanding of youth gangs and inform effective responses to dismantling their networks.
  • Clarity of roles and responsibilities of Victoria Police and partner agencies to ensure an effective policing response to youth gang activity and offending.
  • Victoria Police is a trusted partner in a multi-agency approach involving schools, community organisations, police and government agencies to holistically address the drivers of youth gang offending.

6 Shirley, Kimberley. The Cautious Approach – Police cautions and the impact on youth offending. Melbourne: Crime Statistics Agency (Victoria), 2017 https://www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au/research-and-evaluation/publicat…External Link

Reviewed 27 July 2023

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