Outcomes of crime prevention projects funded under Creating Safer Places, Crime Prevention Innovation Fund and the Empowering Communities partnerships.

Crime Prevention Innovation Fund  

 

Project: Feeling Safe in Public Places - Co-designing community safety strategies in Local Government Areas

Organisation: Monash University        

Project: Feeling Safe in Public Places - Co-designing community safety strategies in Local Government Areas

Grant funding: $296,994


About the project

‘Feeling safe in public places,’ which ran from June 2021 to June 2023, aimed to build the capability of local councils and communities to understand safety issues women experience in public places and identify strategies to improve women’s perceptions of safety in public places.

Key Objective

The primary objective of the project was to co-design an approach to understand and respond to safety and inclusion issues in public places for women in Melton, Monash, and Wyndham.

Project Outcomes

  • The research team engaged with approximately 200 women, through surveys, interviews, focus groups and a co-design workshop held in November 2022, which included 41 women from a range of cultural backgrounds.
  • A baseline of evidence on crime and safety issues in each LGA was developed for each council partner, increasing the knowledge of how to design crime prevention initiatives and increase feelings of safety for women.
  • An engagement blueprint and three toolkits were co-designed by academics from Monash University, Griffith University, University of Sydney, Welcoming Australia, and Melton, Wyndham, and Monash councils.
  • An increased awareness of safety and inclusion issues, sense of empowerment, connection and confidence in local councils from the participants involved.
  • Enhanced collaboration and strengthening of the partnerships between the organisations involved in the project.
 

Project: Supporting Pasifika Islander youth towards positive life trajectories

Organisation: Swinburne University of Technology

Project: Supporting Pasifika Islander youth towards positive life trajectories

Grant funding: $172,655

About the project

The project ran between June 2021 and May 2023 and worked with the Pasifika community in a strength based approach to support Pasifika young people into positive life trajectories through engagement in education.

Key Objectives

  • Engage with community members (leaders, parents and youth) to co-design a culturally responsive framework for Pasifika youth.
  • Co-design surveys, focus groups and interviews with members of the community to create the Pasifika Engagement Tool (PET) to develop an informed approach to enhance community engagement in education
  • Develop resources to compliment the PET for stakeholders who work with the Pasifika community. Knowledge built from the resources will enhance community engagement experiences and build positive relationships, leading to strong engagement with education for Pasifika youth.

Project Outcomes

  • Over 50 participants attended a project launch event held on 9 October 2021.
  • The project had 132 survey participants (36 parents and 96 young people) with diverse Pasifika identities.
  • Two focus groups for parents and two for young people were run, with six participants in each group. Parent participants were encouraged to reflect on their children’s school experiences and provide recommendations for schools and teachers to create inclusive school environments for Pasifika young people. A young community leader was invited to support the young people to share their cultural and school experiences.
  • The PET’s and factsheets were developed in a co-design approach involving research from survey responses, the parent and young people focus groups and 10 individual interviews with school principals, teachers, counsellors and youth workers.
  • The PET tool recognised the strengths, knowledge and capabilities of Pasifika young people and their families. An Advisory Group was established during the project with Pasifika leaders and youth workers to provide insights into research design and data collection and enhance community benefit.
  • The project strengthened community understanding and use of culturally relevant approaches to create more supportive and inclusive environments and increased awareness for Pasifika youth and local support services to inform better practices for engagement and understanding of the Pasifika community.
  • Key partnerships included the Le Mana Pasifika Project Team at the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY), Pasifika Advisory Groups, youth workers and local schools. There was also a strong partnership established between Swinburne University of Technology and CMY.
  • Partnerships will continue beyond the scope of the project and continue to support the Pasifika youth in Victoria moving forward and the PET will continue to be used as a sustainable resource to support Pasifika youth with their education.
 

Project: Finding Strengths

Organisation: The Centre for Continuing Education Inc.

Project: Finding Strengths

Grant funding: $300,000

About the project

‘Finding Strengths’ was a social crime prevention project designed to influence the underlying social and economic causes of crime associated with low educational attainment and inability to secure employment.

This program, which ran between June 2021 and May 2023, was designed to test a new approach to build capacity within the community by providing an intensive case management, therapeutic approach to support education and employment pathways for young people aged between 16-18 from the Hume region, who had previously committed a criminal offence, or were at risk of offending.

Key Objectives

  • Identify learning difficulties including Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and provide participants with information on strategies to assist them to better manage them.
  • Partner with allied health professionals and provide assessments for prospective trainers or employers to better support the participants toward an identified pathway into employment or education.
  • Provide a case management framework, using a strength based approach, to support young people to re-engage with education and employment and become more employable.
  • Engage with the participants families, support networks and employer contacts to assist them to gain and sustain employment and reduce the youth offending rate.

Project Outcomes

The project provided intensive case management for 20 young people utilising resources such as Language, Literacy, Numeracy Assessments and Employment Readiness Scale survey tools. Learner Engagement and Employment Officers used a wrap-around case management model to provide support to participants and foundation courses were developed to provide valuable life, literacy and numeracy skills.

Referral pathways were expanded during the project, including participants being referred from Parkville and Malmsbury Youth Justice Facilities, which resulted in pre-release referrals into employment programs for young people returning to the region after release from incarceration.

New partnerships were established between The Centre for Continuing Education Inc. and the Shepparton Drug Court and Youth Justice Residential facilities in Parkville and Malmsbury. Existing partnerships were enhanced with the Community Work Team in the Hume Region and Department of Justice’s Employment Pathway Brokers, increasing local capability to reduce likelihood of recidivism.

Project evaluation established that:

  • 12 participants engaged in employment or education and eight of those retained their positions for at least six months following the completion of the project. One participant is completing a Hairdressing course, one is undertaking a Certificate IV in Education Support, while another is completing a Butchery apprenticeship. It was also identified that those who sustained employment and further education demonstrated an increase in their social links, financial wellbeing and self-esteem, which are proven protective factors in crime prevention.
  • 15 participants now have improved protective factors and/or reduced risk factors, which were measured through client surveys and observation.
  • 9 participants were connected to relevant services, including drug and alcohol treatment, education, employment, family support and mental health services.
 

Project: Something to Talk About

Organisation: Big Hart Inc.

Project: Something to Talk About

Grant funding: $240,000

About the project

‘Something to Talk About’ was a prevention program engaging young people through creative digital arts, including podcasts, music videos, short films and social media bites, to address everyday actions and attitudes that lead to Family Violence related crime.

The program, designed for people aged 10-15 from schools in Frankston North, ran between November 2021 and April 2023.

Key Objectives

  • Build the knowledge and understanding around themes and everyday behaviours related to family violence, gender equity, consent, verbal and physical abuse, and coercive control
  • Build skills and confidence in young people to make positive choices and recognise negative behaviour within themselves and others
  • Connect young people with their community to build connection and cohesion and to shift negative perceptions around youth
  • Raise the profile of young people as positive community contributors.

Project Outcomes

The project engaged 80 young people across three schools through weekly creative digital arts workshops. A total of 267 workshops were delivered and 74% of students completed the program.

The students worked with artist mentors exploring different forms of self-expression though creative skill building. They produced a series of digital resources around themes associated with family violence and delivered several school and community events, reaching approximately 600 people.

Project evaluation identified a shift in the behaviours of the participants over the course of the program and a measurable growth in participants ability to understand and recognise family violence related behaviour, respect, consent and identity. Survey responses indicated the project also supported the participants to feel more connected to their school and broader community through participation and delivery of community events.