THE variety of youth services on offer and need for funding were part of discussions at a forum in Butler recently.
Butler MLA John Quigley hosted the September 29 forum with police and youth service organisations after residents raised concerns about ‘youth gang crime’ issues in the area.
Speakers included Clarkson Senior Sergeant Stephen Foley, Inspector Dale Bell and Police and Community Youth Centres (PCYC) chief executive John Gillespie.
Mr Quigley said he was impressed by the number of organisations working with youth in the area.
“The thing that really impressed the community was the re-entry of PCYC into the community,” he said.
The PCYC team takes its bus to locations such as Yanchep District High School and Butler Community Centre for regular activities, and organisations such as Edmund Rice Centre and MercyCare also run youth programs in the area.
Boxing WA vice president Sean Nash attended and said he hoped to introduce a boxing program in Butler that teaches self respect and self discipline.
Sgt Foley said the forum was a starting point to listen to residents’ concerns, and police would continue looking at ways to address those.
“There are some good things going on at the moment with the PCYC up in Butler every Wednesday afternoon for term four,” he said.
“From a police perspective there is definitely not a gang problem. Crime in Butler is down to the same time last year.
“ There is nothing to indicate there are any major issues in Butler, but if residents see something, they need to tell us.”
The sergeant encouraged people to report incidents and suspicious activity to police rather than posting it on social media.