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Innovative programmes to tackle youth crime to be funded

28 April 2014

Innovative programmes to tackle youth crime to be funded

Associate Justice Minister Chester Borrows today congratulated six community groups around New Zealand who will received grants to fund fresh new approaches to reducing offending by young people.

The grants are from a special $400,000 fund that supports the Government’s Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP), which aims to reduce offending by children and young people over the next ten years.

“The YCAP Innovation Fund asked communities to step up and get creative with innovative ideas to tackle youth crime in their local area,” Mr Borrows says.

“I’m pleased that people and organisations around the country rose to the challenge, and impressed by the great ideas that came through.”

The one-off funding round aims to support community-based youth justice initiatives and build local capacity to address youth offending.

“The way we work with communities on youth justice is a key part of the Youth Crime Action Plan. Experience tells us that small local projects, driven by people who know the kids in their community and what they need, can sometimes yield huge gains,” Mr Borrows says.

The successful YCAP Innovation Fund applicants are:
· Te Ikaroa Rangatahi Social Services Incorporated in the Hawke’s Bay will develop a community-led youth crime action plan, with involvement of young people, the Youth Offending Team and three Iwi Māori providers.

· Eastern Southern Youth Trust in Wellington will develop and implement a local action plan and initiatives aimed at reducing offending by young people in Wellington’s Eastern suburbs.

· Tauranga City Council and the community provider Moana Safe City will run a collaborative pilot aimed at female Māori violent offenders aged 14-17, using a peer intervention programme including whanau mentoring.

· Auckland Youth Law Tino Rangatiratanga Taitamariki Incorporated will develop and test an education programme and tools for young people completing Police alternative action plans, including information on rights and responsibilities and tikanga Māori

· Invercargill iwi-based organisation Waihopai Runaka will develop an early intervention approach for 12-16 year old offenders, using a Māori framework and youth-owned resource plans, including cognitive behavioural therapy.

· NZ Blue Light branches in Auckland (Counties, Pukekohe and Albany areas) will develop and apply a kaupapa-based framework to the Duke of Edinburgh programme aimed at Māori and Pacific males aged 14-17.

“Efforts to tackle youth crime are paying off. For example, the number of young people facing court charges in 2013 was the lowest since records began more than 20 years ago,” Mr Borrows says.

“Also, since June 2011, the youth crime rate has fallen 27 percent, meaning we’ve already exceeded the Government’s Better Public Service target of reducing youth crime by 25 percent by 2017.

“Initiatives such as the six YCAP Innovation Fund grant winners will help reduce youth crime even further and make a difference to the children and young people behind the statistics.”

All initiatives will begin in June this year and be completed by 30 June 2015.

The full Youth Crime Action Plan, as well as supporting information, is available at www.justice.govt.nz/policy/crime-prevention/youth-justice.


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