Sen. Sgt Chris Martin: Police to tackle root cause of rock throwing scourge
Rock throwing continues to be an issue for our community, so for my column this week, I want to provide an update on what your local officers are doing to address this.
I’ve seen a lot of social media activity about it, and I understand why people are concerned.
I’d hate to have my property damaged, and we should all be able to drive the streets of Geraldton without this concern.
Over the past 12 months our officers have apprehended about 15 juveniles for throwing rocks and we’ve got a good idea about who they all are.
But unfortunately just apprehending these young offenders is not curbing that activity.
Premises have been targeted, vehicles have been targeted, and, more worryingly, moving vehicles have been targeted by this obviously very dangerous behaviour.
I’m glad to say no one’s been significantly injured so far.
However there’s been a lot of damage to property and it’s my fear this could result in someone being hurt.
So we’re changing our approach and moving to an intensive engagement strategy with our youth policing unit to address the cause of the offend-ing and sit down with their families.
We’re working to identify what’s causing the offending, whether it be problems at home, school attendance, family violence, or even outside influences.
We’ve joined forces with our partners at Youth Justice, the Department of Communities, the PCYC and the Aboriginal Students Network to provide wraparound services to engage with these juveniles to stop this behaviour.
We’ll also be introducing information into our school engagement program to educate students about the real effects their actions can cause.
We’ve got to work together to solve this issue, and I’m confident the strategy will pay dividends.
I know the community is particularly concerned about this, and the best thing you can do to help is to keep reporting incidents as soon as they happen.
The sooner you let us know, the sooner we can get some resources to the scene.
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