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Coalition launches Communities that Care for Geelong

Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Minister for Crime Prevention Edward O’Donohue today announced a new Victorian Coalition Government program in Lara that will give local community leaders the power and skills to support a safer community for young Geelong residents.
 
Speaking at Lara Secondary College, Mr O’Donohue said the Napthine Government had provided $600,000 to support the rollout of the internationally renowned Communities that Care program at four locations across Victoria. 
 
“The internationally proven program gets community leaders directly involved in local crime prevention, enabling them to deliver evidence-based programs for young Victorians at risk of becoming involved in crime or anti-social behaviour,” Mr O’Donohue said.
 
“This will help lay the foundations for a safer, stronger community, in the greater Geelong area.”
 
Mr O’Donohue said it will build on the work done through the Keep em Safe campaign in Geelong.
 
The Communities that Care approach was originally developed by the University of Washington, and has now been delivered extensively across USA, Canada, UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
 
International trials have shown the model reduces community rates of youth delinquency and heavy alcohol and drug use by 30 per cent, with economic savings of more than $5 for every $1 invested.
 
Communities that Care co-founder, Professor Richard Catalano, Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence and the Director of the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington, said the program has helped deliver safer communities.
 
“Communities that Care builds a community’s capacity to work together, using the best of prevention science to improve the lives of children and young people,” Professor Catalano said
 
“Rigorous evaluation has shown that the Communities that Care model delivers significant reductions in crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.”
 
The model has been adapted for Australia thanks to a partnership between the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Deakin University and the University of Washington.
 
Mr O’Donohue said the Napthine Government is addressing local crime and safety issues by enabling communities to develop and implement their solutions.
 
“We have provided $35 million to support local crime prevention initiatives through our Community Crime Prevention Program, building safer, stronger local communities,” Mr O’Donohue said.
 
Mr O’Donohue noted that a frontbench reshuffle by Daniel Andrews late last year saw the crime prevention portfolio removed from the shadow ministry.
 
“There could be no starker indication of how little Labor cares about community safety and community crime prevention,” Mr O’Donohue said.
 
Information about Victoria’s Community Crime Prevention Program is available at www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au  
 
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