Encounter Youth, a South Australian charity which dedicates time and resources to help our young people, has won the Gold 2019 Australian Crime and Prevention Award for its Hindley Street Program.
The annual Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA) recognise and reward good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.
Supported by the Attorney-General's Department and South Australia Police, Encounter Youth's Hindley Street Program offers a safe presence every Saturday night between 11.30pm and 5am to provide assistance to young people in a moment of need or vulnerability.
Trained volunteers positively engage with young people and provide prompt referrals of critical incidents to emergency services, helping to reduce the impact and incidence of antisocial behaviour, including alcohol-fuelled violence, drug offences and sexual assault.
Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman congratulated Encounter Youth on its win.
"Encounter Youth has been providing 20 years of support for our young people and it is absolutely fantastic to see them recognised on the national stage for the great work they do.
"I'd like to congratulate all of the volunteers who dedicate their time to helping our young people stay safe while they're having fun, not only on Hindley Street, but every year at the Victor Harbor Schoolies Festival."
Encounter Youth CEO, Nigel Knowles said it was an absolute honour to be awarded the gold ACVPA, thanking the Attorney-General's Department and South Australia Police for their support over the past eight years of the very successful program.
"The Hindley Street Program has made a real and tangible impact, not only in the lives of the patrons we meet and serve, but in the relationships we've built in Adelaide's West End with other community service providers, owners, bouncers, licensees and more," Mr Knowles said.
"Our Encounter Youth volunteers are an approachable, consistent and trusted resource that young people actively seek out and we are proud to play our part in supporting late night safety to the area.
"Through positive engagement strategies and the rapport Encounter Youth's volunteers have built with young people over the past 20 years, we are able to make a positive impact and improve late night safety on Hindley Street.
"Our evidence-based program is working to prevent crime, and we are pleased to have seen a reduction in the number of referrals required to both SA Police and SA Ambulance Services over the past few years."