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Plan for safer regional communities

For more information, contact Dave Grills (Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region).

The Nationals WA have outlined an innovative plan to reduce juvenile crime and build safer communities in regional WA.

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC said the plan went beyond policing, with an emphasis on fostering stronger families and developing region-specific programs tailored to reintegrate young offenders back into the community.

"The Nationals WA Safer Communities plan focuses on juvenile justice and providing alternatives for dealing with recidivist offenders," Mr Grills said.

"We understand that juvenile crime and anti-social behaviour are persistent problems in many regional communities and that without safety, communities deteriorate."

Mr Grills, a former WA police officer, said the plan would provide magistrates with the option to remand regional young offenders in a local Intensive Behavioural Management Facility in order to prevent recidivism.

"I've been working for some time on finding alternatives to the current ‘Banksia Hill or bail’ model for recidivist young offenders in regional areas," Mr Grills said.

"With detention viewed as impractical and a last resort, we are seeing too many young offenders back on the streets and unacceptably high levels of repeat offending in our communities.

"It is clear that we need to find new models, especially in dealing with the disproportionate rate of Aboriginal youth involved in the criminal justice system. I believe providing local communities with local custodial-based offender rehabilitation options is a necessary step."

Mr Grills said The Nationals had committed to identifying sites for Regional Managed Youth Behavioural Facilities, including the allocation of $10 million for a trial in a regional centre.

"The Nationals are not afraid to tackle the issue head on and urgent changes are needed to catch the kids who are falling through the cracks," Mr Grills said.

"These reforms are necessary to not only ensure community safety but also allow troubled youth the opportunity, through working with families, community and government departments, to become functioning members of society.

"I am pushing for Kalgoorlie-Boulder to be the site of the first trial Youth Behavioural Facility."

The Nationals plan also includes a commitment to direct government agencies to work with the families of re-offenders.

"We are proposing a multi-faceted approach to assist families in getting kids to school, tackling drug, alcohol and domestic violence in the home, and improving parenting skills and the sense of responsibility in families," Mr Grills said.

"While there is no ‘silver bullet’ for dealing with these tough issues, greater action must be taken to identify troubled kids in communities and ensure effective early intervention.

"The Nationals’ plan represents a bold new approach to reducing juvenile recidivism and improving community safety in regional WA."

Read the full policy here: www.nationalswa.com/safer_communities

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 90711 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au.

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