Citizens on patrol in Grafton and Yamba
GROUPS of adults are soon to comb the streets of Grafton and Yamba on Friday and Saturday nights in an effort to keep young people safe and reduce crime and vandalism.
Organised by the the Clarence Valley Council, the program, tentatively called 'Street Cruise', will operate along similar lines to youth support initiatives in Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Ballina.
Council community development worker (youth services) Carolyn Wilkes said the teams would get to young people who were out and about and be on hand to keep them safe through either information or intervention.
She said the council was hoping for a trial run through the April school holidays.
"We would like it to operate every weekend, but it will depend on how many volunteers we get," she said.
Teams would comprise four people, all of whom would be trained.
"We will be using a Coffs Harbour model which has teams that cruise around where the young people hang out," she said.
"They don't get heavy with them they just try to communicate with them.
"Part of it is adults showing that they care.
"In Coffs there has been decreasing damage and vandalism, they have intervened in a couple of fights and the response has been overwhelmingly positive."
The Mayor, Ian Tiley, said it was pleasing that groups and individuals were banding together on a series of constructive projects to reduce crime.
"We look forward to the joint effort to prepare our Clarence Valley Crime Prevention Plan, which will identify major problems and hotspots and secure new ways to resolve them," the mayor said.
Cr Tiley said research was continuing into a youth centre for Grafton, with plans being drawn up for a road trip to visit youth centres in the Northern Rivers, and Links to Learning was working with council and health to run a series of art workshops throughout the Clarence Valley.