The state government has announced an outreach team for young people in a bid to curb ongoing anti-social behaviour in Port Augusta and Davenport.

Key points:

  • More than $150,000 in funding will go towards the new team
  • Recruitment for the team will begin soon
  • Outreach will focus on behavioural changes rather than locking-up young people

It will consist of social workers and professionals, similar to an existing program, who will be out in the communities after dark and on weekends to connect with young people.

There will also be additional funding to extend the hours of the youth centre which will be open from Tuesdays to Saturdays between 6pm and 10pm.

A bus service that already operates under the existing outreach team which transports adults back to a safe place will also be extended to young people.

Multiple businesses and properties have been damaged due to youth crime.(Supplied: Facebook)

Locking up ‘not the answer’

Nat Cook says the issue of anti-social behaviour won’t be solved overnight.(ABC News)

Human Services Minister Nat Cook said there had been several cases of young people committing assault and causing property damage to businesses.

“We are aware that many people have been feeling quite unsafe when young people are displaying destructive behaviour,” Ms Cook said.

“We need to work with young people to help support their decision making.

“Locking-up young people in the long-term is not a way to change their behaviour or their way of thinking.”

Building relationships 

Ms Cook said recruitment for the new team would start as soon as possible.

“They will be supported and trained people who are doing that outreach and they will work with experts in the field to help with language and messaging for young people,” she said.

“The Port Augusta police have an appetite for being productive and forming a much better relationship with these young people.

“Some of these young people may end up in youth justice system but they will come home and when they do, we want them to trust the police and understand the consequences of their actions.”

The team will be similar to the one which was formed in November to curb anti-social behaviour. (ABC North and West SA: Lucas Forbes)

Stuart MP Geoff Brock said he was pleased with the announcement.

“There needs to be a lot more done through a strong coordinated and collaborated effort to ensure that we provide guidance to the next generation who can contribute to our community positively,” he said.

“Supporting our youth to take a positive route, gives our police the opportunity to focus on adult anti-social behaviour.”