Town takes a soft approach to hardened teens
ABOUT 20 police officers, business owners and community leaders gathered for the first meeting of the Chinchilla Youth High Risk Panel, aimed at reducing juvenile offending.
While effectively a meet-and-greet, the meeting on Wednesday included a cross section of the community.
Chinchilla Chamber of Commerce manager Robyn Haig said she was committed to finding a way to end the cycle of offending that had trapped too many young people in her town.
"That is what everyone can agree on, both police and the families that those offenders come from," she said.
"That means we have to help those offenders with the origins of that offending.
"We are not concerned with pointing the finger."
The meeting included representatives from community organisations and charities that work with at-risk teens.
Ms Haig said the business community was open to mentoring offenders and giving them a path to a better life.
It is hoped those programs would disrupt the networks of young offenders.
"We have a great community, and the vast majority of us are super proud of our town," Ms Haig said.
"We are hopeful what if we bring those young offenders into the fold then we would see this offending fall."