Monday, June 24, 2024

Police youth program launched in Toowoomba

An award-winning Queensland Police youth program has launched in Toowoomba today.

Project Booyah is a collaborative initiative between the QPS, Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC), and the local community.

The project includes a 16-week community inclusive police mentoring program that focuses on adventure-based learning, leadership skills, social and skill development training, community intervention, functional literacy/numeracy support, and vocational scholarships.

The launch of Project Booyah is part of our ongoing commitment to help divert at-risk young people from entering the justice system,” said QPS Commissioner, Katarina Carroll.

Its goal is to support disconnected young individuals between the ages of 14 and 17, and help them regain self-worth, build resilience, and establish a sense of connection with their local community.

Each cohort, consisting of 10-12 young people, will participate in the program twice a year, aligning with school semesters.

Today marks an important step in addressing youth disconnection and enhancing community safety in our region,” said Police Minister, Mark Ryan.

The QPS and the Queensland Government are committed to providing support and opportunities to young Queenslanders to regain their self-worth, build resilience, and establish a sense of connection with their local community.”

He said the family inclusive program will focus on enhancing self-esteem, resilience, and respect while providing pathways to study, training, and employment.

Project Booyah which has already been launched in 10 areas throughout the state, has already seen many successes in deterring disengaged youth from crime.

In 2016, Project Booyah won gold at the Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards.

Last year, 82% of Project Booyah graduates achieved a Certificate II Foundation Skills Training Qualification, 77% re-entered the education system, 46% engaged in further education or training, 33% undertook work experience and 28% obtained employment through taking part in the program.

In addition to Project Booyah, the Community Camera Alliance (CCA) was launched during this event.

CCA, currently implemented in various police districts across Queensland, strengthens the relationship between the community and the QPS by encouraging residents, businesses, and organisations to register their CCTV footage to an internal QPS system.

The initiative plays a crucial role in preventing crime and enhancing community safety and assists police in crime investigations and suspect identification.

“I’m excited to introduce the Community Camera Alliance to Toowoomba – an initiative that strengthens the relationship between the community and the QPS by encouraging residents, businesses, and organisations to register their CCTV cameras,” said Minister Ryan.

“By working together, we can prevent crime, enhance community safety, and assist police in investigations and suspect identification.”

Toowoomba residents are being encouraged to register their CCTV details online or by completing a hard copy registration form.

These initiatives, along with an increased visible police presence, the Youth Co-Responder Team, and the implementation of Jack’s Law throughout the state, are part of the ongoing efforts by Darling Downs District to address community concerns raised during the Toowoomba crime forum held on February 15.

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