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Plaudits for police - 19 April 2006

The City of Sydney Lord Mayor has congratulated Superintendent Catherine Burn and her team at Redfern police for the progress they have made in working with the local Aboriginal community and elders reports the Sydney Central Courier. [Please note that there are some errors in this article - at the foot of the article you will find some clarifications made by Redfern LAC Commander Catherine Burn].

At the recent Redfern Police Accountability Community Team (PACT) meeting, Redfern police reported positive work, including programs to divert young people from c rime and anti-social behaviour.

Activities implemented by Redfern police include Midnight Basketball, with up to 50 young people regularly taking part, a horse whispering course at the Redfern Mounted Police Centre, a Tribal Warrior’s water skills course and the “Street Beat Bus” which takes up to 60 young people home safely on Thursday and Friday nights.

Redfern police have also put together the “Blackout” Anti-Violence Program, the school’s anti-violence program “Kickin’ Forward” and “Walking Together”, for post-release prisoners.

Chief executive of the Aboriginal Housing Corporation Mick Mundine agreed that Superintendant Catherine Burn had made definite progress in the local community.

“She is more of a community level sort of a policeman, and apparently she used to live in Chippendale years ago, so she is a really grass roots sort of person,” he said.

“She is very understanding and she has been at meetings, she walks around and does the beat herself.”

Mr Mundine said Redfern police had copped an unfair amount of criticism.

“A lot of our people do use this block for their own personal reasons, and they all use and abuse it, they sit around and drink, they sell their drugs, and when they do a crime, they run back to the place,” he said.

“A lot of people blame the police, but it falls back on our people too. People use and abuse this community and it’s time for it to stop.”

You can see Clover Moores's full statement to NSW Legislative Assembly on which this article was based from the link at the foot of this web page.


Clarifications from Redfern LAC Commander Catherine Burn on the above article:

I would like to clarify some of the material in the article "Plaudits for Police - 19th April". There seems to be some information that is not entirely accurate and I would like to ensure a correct record is maintained. Those areas that need clarification include:

    * "Activities implemented by Redfern Police include Midnight Basketball.."   - I would like to make it clear that Redfern Police did not implement this program however we have supported the program from its inception and our Youth Liaison Officer and Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer also attended the program to assist with it.

    * "a Tribal Warrior's water skills course." - We have run, and continue to run, a Water skills course but it is not related to the Tribal Warrior. Any reference to the Tribal Warrior was a reference to enhancing relationships with the community and that included contact with those associated with the Tribal Warrior. This included an invitation for Tribal Warrior participants to attend the Water Police site for a tour.

    * "Redfern Police have also put together the "Blackout" Anti-Violence Program, the school's anti-violence program "Kickin Forward" and "Walking Together....." - Redfern Police did not put these programs together. We are supporters of the programs and we assist when possible. Regarding "kickin Forward" we are working with a member of the Aboriginal community to see if it is viable for police to sponsor the program in the local schools, and with the "Walking Together" program we provide assistance through our Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers.