Straight-talking Public Meeting on Youth Crime

Published on Thursday, 10 February 2022 at 3:52:19 PM

Image: Opposition parliamentarians Mining and Pastoral MLC Neil Thomson (right) and North West Central MLA Vince Catania (left) with Derby/West Kimberley Shire President Geoff Haerewa (centre).

On Wednesday night Derby/West Kimberley Shire President Geoff Haerewa introduced opposition parliamentarians Mining and Pastoral MLC Neil Thomson and North West Central MLA Vince Catania to the community. The men were visiting town to speak to residents about escalating youth crime.

Derby was the last stop on their Kimberley tour and nearly 200 locals turned out for a “straight-talking” hour and a half meeting.

Thomson credited the Derby/West Kimberley Shire for its persistent efforts tackling the problem, but said assistance and funding were needed from state level.

“I would like to acknowledge the Shire’s been working very hard on trying to solve them problems and they do have long-term strategies in the works,” said Thomson.

Throughout the meeting residents put forward a number of practical solutions, both short and medium term, to combat rising levels of crime.

Please note the following does not reflect the Shire’s views directly, but is a summary of the discussion provided for residents who were unable to attend.

  • The establishment of a Safe House to take youths found walking the streets at night who are unable to go home due to safety and welfare concerns.
  • More police deployments in the Kimberley, both long-term appointments and visiting “squads” to hot-spots.
  • The establishment of a curfew in town.
  • Bush healing and rehabilitation camps on-country – both for individuals and families.
  • Academic research into why the offending is taking place (and escalating) and best-practice to stop it.
  • Private security company to monitor the town’s CCTV cameras, thus freeing up police time for call-outs.
  • Private security for night patrols, on foot and in vehicles.
  • Push to get kids back into formal and informal education institutions and tackle rising truancy rates Kimberley wide.
  • More local staff recruited and retained in supporting roles such as child protection and youth justice.
  • Alcohol restrictions including a move to mid-strength alcohol full-time.
  • More juvenile night programmes and activities.
  • More government services.
  • Consequences for parents if their children are involved in anti-social activities.
  • More Indigenous police officers and Aboriginal Liaison Officers.

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