POLICE are set to target young people in the coming months in an effort to prevent them from slipping into a life of crime.
Canobolas Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick said a pilot program would be launched in Orange in April, aimed at children aged 8-12 years.
The idea followed a series of car thefts in Orange and break and enters in Cowra committed by largely young offenders.
“It sounds like a very young age group, but the younger age group is targeted for a reason, we’re trying to prevent them from being involved in crime down the track,” he said.
Detective Insp Grassick said it built on other measures police took with youth offending, which included issuing cautions rather than laying charges if a young person immediately admitted to doing the wrong thing.
“There was a situation where the father was a taxi driver and the child wasn’t in school and was wandering the streets so we got agencies involved and now the father has got support,” he said.
Incoming commander Superintendent Chris Taylor indicated his intention to expand Orange High School’s mock accident scene program to all high schools in the command, with plans to reach out to TAFEs and universities to educate young drivers about avoiding distractions on the road.
At Thursday’s safety forum, Detective Insp Grassick compared statistics from October to December 2017 to the same period in 2016.
Break and enters fell across the board, from 184 to 136 in residential areas and from 66 to 37 in non-dwellings.
“They’re quite encouraging,” he said.
We're trying to prevent [children] from being involved in crime down the track.Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick
There were 32 non-domestic violence-related assaults in 2017, down from 43 in 2016.
Stealing from a motor vehicle dropped from 134 incidents in 2016 to 100 in 2017, while stolen vehicles dropped from 65 to 45.
Fraud, malicious damage and stealing from a retail store were stable between the two periods.