Police build youth links

TRUANCY levels among Aboriginal children have fallen significantly under the PCYC's intervention program, Early.

The program, for children aged 13 to 15, is primarily aimed at crime prevention.

"The feedback from Aboriginal education officers is they've seen an increase in the kids' maturity," Penrith PCYC's Senior Constable Brian Tulk said.

He was speaking to the Police Aboriginal Consultative Committee meeting which was held in Cranebrook last week.

Senior Constable Tulk said police officers and educators engaged with young Aboriginal early in their lives.

"Teachers have reported overall improvements and these young people talk about how it's helped them at school and outside," he said.

Inspector Harry Goedings of Penrith police said Early and other programs overseen by the committee were building trust and co-operation between police and the Aboriginal community.

"We're keen to get this up and running at St Marys," Inspector Goedings said.

He said he had already spoken to his opposite number at St Marys, Inspector Tracy Stone, who indicated her support for such programs.

Inspector Goedings said keeping young people out of jail and giving them hope were about the most important things police, schools and community leaders could do.

"We have Aboriginal police officers who can act as mentors to kids," Inspector Goedings said.

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