Brimbank police team-up with The Youth Junction

Sunshine-based youth services agency The Youth Junction has partnered with Brimbank police to help young offenders get out of the vicious cycle of crime.

Since the launch of the initiative on November 11, Sunshine and Keilor Downs police who come into contact with repeat young offenders can call a new number to connect them to social workers at The Youth Junction, which is based at the Visy Cares Hub at Sunshine.

Social workers then take the workload off police by finding out what support services that young person might need, before connecting them with local services.

The Youth Junction general manager Karen Hart said the Need Only One Number (NOON) initiative was about giving police a stronger referral pathway.

“At the moment, they’re [police] having to send them on their way,” she said. “We want to prevent them [young offenders] from going to Parkville [youth justice centre] and onto a lifelong pathway of crime.”

Sunshine Police Inspector Dallas Normington said the initiative gave young offenders more opportunities for specialist support near where they live.

“It’s a proactive initiative … to try and catch anyone who may be falling through the cracks,” he said.

The trial will run for a year and, if proven successful, may be rolled out to police stations across Victoria.