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Police launch mentoring program for Redfern youth

Police have launched a program designed to steer “at risk” youths within the Redfern Local Area Command away from a potential life of crime reports police media on 19 July 2009.

“The Clean Slate Without Prejudice” program, supported by Centrelink and the local Aboriginal men’s group, Babana, today was launched on board the vessel, Tribal Warrior, on Sydney Harbour.

The aim of the program is to provide specially selected young people within the Redfern area with an opportunity to alter their behaviour through the involvement of government and non-government agencies and organisations.

The project encompasses a range of strategies including early intervention, developmental crime prevention, positive relationships, support networking and behavioural workshops.

From a policing perspective, the program is designed to reduce youth crime and identify re-offending behaviours.

Police expect the initiative to have immediate and long-term results with Aboriginal leaders from the Redfern community and officers volunteering their free time to play an active mentoring role with the youths.

To launch the program, a group of young people was treated to a trip across Sydney Harbour on the Tribal Warrior and an excursion to Luna Park.

Redfern Local Area Commander, Luke Freudenstein, expressed his gratitude for the support of the Redfern Aboriginal community and its leaders.

“It is vital these youths get a chance to reach their full potential and avoid entering, or remaining, in the Criminal Justice System,” said Superintendent Freudenstein.

“The program covers a range of key areas including family violence, health and fitness, substance abuse and the effect crime has on victims,” he said.

“We are pleased to be able to incorporate the wisdom of Redfern’s Aboriginal leaders in this program which will equip the youths with the tools and skills to hopefully keep their slate clean.”