Image: Twitter @AnnastaciaPalaszczuk
Efforts to reduce youth crime and the number of kids wandering the streets after dark in Townsville has been boosted with the opening of the city’s first after-hours drop-in centre for kids.
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government had dedicated $482,000 to the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) to operate the pilot service in Garbutt from 4pm to 10am on weekdays, and 6pm to 10am on weekends.
“Police in Townsville estimate there are upwards of 30 kids walking the streets most nights, and clearly some of these are using the cover of darkness to break into homes, businesses and cars,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“The message from the police, the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group and youth support groups across the city is that a safe after-hours place is a priority.
“Importantly, TAIHS will also operate an outreach service to encourage 10 to 16 year olds to come off the street and stay overnight at the centre if they are unwilling or unable to go home.
“For some, being on the street is an escape from alcohol and drug use in the home, domestic violence, or the impact of mental illness in their family.
The drop-in centre forms part of the Palaszczuk Government’s five-point plan to reduce youth crime in Townsville, announced in September 2016.