North Lakes Joins Growing Queensland Youth Partnership Initiative

After positive early results, a new initiative aimed at making shopping centres safer is set to expand, with North Lakes among the locations included in this growth. The Queensland Youth Partnership Initiative (QYPI) has demonstrated significant success in reducing serious incidents involving young people through proactive engagement.

Read: Major Crackdown on Youth Crime in North Lakes and Surrounds

Outreach officers have been working closely with shopping centre retailers to intervene in antisocial behaviour, leading to a noticeable decrease in serious incidents.

From 2020 to 2023, nearly 1,000 young people have benefitted from the program, according to a recent evaluation. This evaluation revealed a rise in community safety, with fewer shopping centre bans and police cautions issued to young people.

Photo credit: Rogério Martins/Pexels

Shopping centre security managers have reported fewer complaints and safety concerns, highlighting the effectiveness of QYPI. The initiative, a collaboration between retailers, youth services, security officers, and police, aims to curb crime and antisocial behaviour in shopping centres.

Besides North Lakes, the program is currently active in Rockhampton, Coomera, Helensvale, and Chermside. QYPI operates on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons, providing a multi-agency response to de-escalate risky behaviours and promote positive engagement among young people in these areas.

QYPI’s outreach efforts include recreational activities, yarning circles, and barbecues designed to offer young people information, advice, and referrals. The program tailors its activities to local needs, offering supervised pro-social activities such as sports, art, and music, along with engagement and referral services.

It also connects youth to welfare services addressing issues like homelessness and domestic violence, and provides training for staff to handle interactions with youth affected by drugs or trauma.

Read: Five Teens Arrested After Stolen Vehicle Chase in Mango Hill

Due to the positive review findings, Queensland Youth Justice will provide long-term funding to existing locations and extend the program to Toowoomba. The initiative’s evaluations have guided policy and program improvements, with more evaluations expected by the end of 2024.

Published 4-June-2024