Yass Police are engaging positively with children in the Yass community, from those who have just stepped into their first classroom to those about to take the final step into adulthood. With a visit to Montessori preschool last week to a Fit for Life program at Yass High School planned for term four, police are working with all age groups to keep children safe. 

On Tuesday, two Yass Police officers visited Montessori preschool. Police spoke to the children about safe places, safe people, stranger awareness, and the role of police in the community. The visit is part of Yass Police’s school safety program.

“It’s an engagement with the kids to get the kids talking to us, and to know that the police are there to help them, so they’re not scared of police. Kids can see the police in the classrooms with them and know that they’re people, just like their mum and dad,” said Inspector David Cowell from Yass Police Station.

Montessori preschool students have been invited to add some artwork to the notice board that stands out the front of the police station. Inspector Cowell said police are looking forward to receiving the art from the preschool and will proudly display it there for the town to see. 

Previous Fit for life event at Yass High School -Yass Inspector Dave Cowell, Goulburn PCYC and Headspace representatives

Local police at Yass will continue to engage with children up to high school and beyond. Inspector Cowell hopes to get the Fit for Life program up and running for term four, which will be run by police at the Yass High School hall when it is fully built. As part of the Police Commissioner’s Rise Up program, Fit for Life is an engagement program aimed at addressing high school-aged children before they potentially fall into a life of crime. In addition, it identifies children who may need to receive positive engagement with the police. 

“Police positively engage with the kids through this program through exercise and games. It’s part of breaking down the barriers, and so those kids see that the police aren’t out just to lock them up; the police are actually out there to help them. And, it’s about redirecting kids from a possible life of crime towards being the best they can be. It builds their confidence and support towards getting jobs and leaving school,” said Inspector Cowell. 

According to Inspector Benjamin Bowles from the Hume Police District, The NSW Police Force has a strong commitment to building trust with young people while reducing crime, violence and fear of crime in the community. The NSW Police Force will continue to work towards diverting young people from the formal justice system and enhancing positive relationships between itself and the young people of NSW.

Inspector Bowles explains the NSW Police Force Youth Strategy embraces three key priority areas—prevention, intervention and partnership. A number of priorities under these areas have been identified. Police aim to prevent youth offending and re-offending, protect the vulnerable, and disrupt youth crime cycles through early intervention and divert them. 

Police plan to achieve these priority areas by strengthening youth and community engagement, demonstrating a strong commitment to agency collaboration, and enhancing internal capabilities.

Southerly Jones