On Wednesday, November 6, ‘Street C.R.E.D’, a QPS initiative, was awarded and recognised at the 2019 Premier’s Awards for Excellence ceremony.
Street Collaborate, Re-engage, Empower and Deter (C.R.E.D) was named the winner in the ‘keeping communities safe’ category for its excellent work with young people who are at risk, homeless or vulnerable.
As the winner in this category, Street C.R.E.D has proven that the program contributes towards breaking the cycle of crime and violence through working with communities to ensure residents can enjoy their neighbourhoods safely.
The program has now been recognised for the excellent outcomes it is having with Queensland’s young people
Once a week at sundown, Police Liaison Officer (PLO) Saga Selsby changes out of her QPS uniform into her hoodie and jeans and hits the streets with a group of QPS members and child support workers that make up Project Street C.R.E.D.
PLO Selsby who established the program, said the weekly activity is as simple as sitting down with vulnerable young people and saying, “how is everything going?”
“I usually start things off with a hug, because I love my hugs,” PLO Selsby said.
The initiative combines stakeholders from the QPS, Cross Cultural Liaison Unit, Gold Coast Entertainment Precinct Group, Department of Child Safety, Department of Youth Justice, representatives from the Gold Coast Youth Service and a G:link representative to maintain positive relationships with young people who have been identified as ‘at risk’ of engaging in antisocial behaviours or criminal activities.
This diverse range of representatives work together as they meet and engage with kids, further reinforcing the point that as PLO Selsby believes, no one service can do it alone.
“We work hard to provide appropriate support and referral for the health and well being of these vulnerable young people, and we encourage them to re-engage with family, culture, community, education and employment,” PLO Selsby said.
PLO Selsby also said that young people appreciate Street C.R.E.D coming out to see them. She has also noticed a change in their behaviour and language.
“I believe that Street C.R.E.D is giving young people the confidence to ask for help knowing that they have the support of the Street C.R.E.D team and the QPS behind them,” PLO Selsby said.
“When you’re out on enforcement, all you see is the offending but when you come out with the Street C.R.E.D team, you get to know the other side of the story – why the offending is happening, which really helps.”
The follow-up process is one of the most critical components of the program as it fosters the positive relationship between the young person, the QPS and partner agencies strengthening trust and credibility.
Inspector Owen Hortz, who oversees the Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise areas said that due to the initiative, there has been a reduced call for service at targeted hot-spots.
“We find that by not expecting the kids to come into an office during office hours and to instead go out and see where they are living and where they are experiencing the problems, it’s much better received,” Inspector Hortz said.
“Not only is crime down but Street C.R.E.D has showed vulnerable young people that police take their well being seriously.”
An excellent effort by all involved
As of October 2019, Street C.R.E.D has housed and supported over 80 young people who are now no longer vulnerable or engaged on the streets during outreach.
Well done to all involved in the development and delivery of this program benefiting all Queenslanders.
To read more about the Premier’s Awards for Excellence and other winners, click here.