By NATASHA SCHAPOVA
Local police have joined force with school students to keep the community safe.
Moorabbin Police are working with students from Beaumaris Secondary College through the Youth Crime Prevention Leadership Program, designed to improve safety in the local community.
Organised by Leading Senior Constable Lisa Dobbie and Chris Dawson, the program is aimed at secondary school students in years 7-9 to prevent local crime.
It is about “being aware of what is going on around you or what makes you vulnerable to crime and what you can do about it,'' Constable Dobbie said.
Students work on different initiatives around the school and meet with Moorabbin police every three weeks to discuss their concerns about their safety.
Assistant principal of Beaumaris Secondary College, Deborah Kirk, said students were excited about the program and are building their understanding of law and order.
Bike security was mentioned in the meetings as an issue, which triggered the idea of hosting a ‘Safe Plate Day’ later this month.
‘Safe Plate Day’ will involve police installing anti-theft screws on number plates for a gold coin donation, with free bike engravings offered to anyone in the local community.
“They’ve (students) engaged with their school board, local traders, police and Neighbourhood Watch and are Ambassadors for the Blue Ribbon Foundation,” Constable Dobbie said.
“Neighbourhood Watch is building rapidly across Victoria and we wanted to instil those values in our younger people before they become the next generation of young adults.”
The program has also introduced students to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) which focuses on changing environments to decrease the incidence of criminal behaviour within them by making areas more accessible, with natural surveillance and territorial reinforcement.
Lisa Dobbie states the program is targeted at year 7-9 students because they are more globally aware and connected with issues concerning climate change, human rights and events across the globe.
Beaumaris Secondary School is the pilot school for this program and there are plans to expand to two more local schools in 2020.