Nearly five years after it was scrapped by the chaotic CLP Government, the Territory Labor Government has returned and reinvigorated school-based policing.
The new school based policing model was designed in collaboration with the Department of Education and Council of Government School Organisations (COGSO), as well as the Northern Territory Police Force (NTPF), and will launch in 10 government schools at the start of Term 4, 2018.
The new model aims to address issues raised during the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory with a greater focus on safety, youth engagement and youth diversion in keeping with best practice models developed in similar jurisdictions.
The School Based Police will operate in collaboration with Youth and Community Engagement Constables model during and after school hours and beyond the school environment to target youth at risk of disengaging.
Through an intelligence-led, evidence-based approach, 10 central locations were selected as hubs for the program. They are:
Sanderson Middle School
Dripstone Middle School
Darwin Middle and High Schools (Bullocky Point Precinct)
Nightcliff Middle School
Casuarina Senior College
Katherine High School
Tennant Creek High School
Centralian Middle School
A report on the progress and effectiveness of the new model will be undertaken in Term 1, 2019.
NTPF will also continue their already high engagement in remote communities including in schools and work to strengthen these relationships.
As noted by Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister, Nicole Manison.
We have listened to Territorians and we have acted. The Territory Labor Government is bringing back school based policing after the initiative was cut by the chaotic CLP government.
Community safety and our children are key priorities for our government and this model of school-based policing will enable our kids to be engaged and empowered, which we know helps prevent youth crime and reduce victimisation.
We also want to ensure that a childs first encounter with a police officer is a positive one.
As noted by Education Minister, Selena Uibo.
The Territory Labor Government believes that every child deserves the best start in life.
This proactive model of policing in schools will better enable us to identify at-risk kids, to re-engage them to grow, learn and achieve, and set them on the right track to a bright future.
The previous CLP Government not only scrapped this program, they slashed $135 million from the education budget and sacked teachers and support staff. We are reinvesting in education and fixing those mistakes.
As noted by the Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations (NTCOGSO) President, Tabby Fudge.
We are delighted and grateful to the government for responding to the request of schools for the reinstatement of the school based policing program.
The return of a new and improved school and police partnership will strengthen school safety, respectful relationships and student success.
The announcement today clearly shows government, families, schools and police working together for the benefit of our community.
This is a great outcome for our children and schools and we sincerely thank the government for listening and responding.