Kealy – Liberal Nationals to bring back police in schools
A Liberal and Nationals government will re-introduce the Police in Schools program to tackle youth violence and build respect in Victoria’s schools, if elected in November this year.
“When listening to local people about ideas to make our region a better place I often hear how successful the Police in Schools program used to be in building good relationships between youth and police, and to deter young people from getting on the wrong track in life,” Ms Kealy said.
“Many local residents still remember the great relationship with ‘Senior Linda’ who was previously a Youth Resource Officer working in the Police in Schools Program and had a constant presence in 14 schools across Western Victoria.
“I am very proud of the Liberals and Nationals commitment to bring back the Police in Schools program, which is a great step to help prevent crime and support our hard working police.
“Our plan will assist police to engage young Victorians who are still at school, and restore respect for police and the community,” Ms Kealy said.
Under the Liberal Nationals’ plan, 100 new police will be funded to work as School Resource Officers, complementing the existing Victoria Police Youth Resource Officers.
“As trusted members of the school community, police will be available to students and their families to seek advice about a range of policing issues, including family violence,” Ms Kealy said.
“The plan will also help people understand the importance of police within the community and to grow up respecting their important role,” she said.
Ms Kealy said Victoria was currently the only state in Australia that did not have a ‘Police in Schools’ program.
“The original Police in Schools program was axed in 2005, despite a Monash University study which found it was effective,” Ms Kealy said.
Shadow Police Minister Edward O’Donohue said preventative measures were as important as the tougher sentencing policies the Liberals and The Nationals had already announced.
“Tougher sentencing, bail and parole are all important but we are also focused on proactive policies to prevent kids from going down a path of crime,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“This program will help school children have a stronger understanding and respect for police and help break the cycle of youth crime,” he said.
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