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Police Commissioner turning teenage crims into model citizens

Police have launched an early intervention program to keep at-risk teens away from a life of crime.

The RISEUP scheme connects young people aged 15 to 18 with mentors from their local Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC), to help steer them into training and employment.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller tells Ray Hadley too many young people have been falling through the cracks and the old system was “failing”.

The new direction has already shown promise, with 60 teenagers having secured stable jobs since February.

“The PCYC isn’t just a drop-in place to shoot hoops,” Commissioner Fuller says.

“It’s a place where you go to get mentored, it’s a place where you go to get life skills.

“But more importantly, it’s a place where you go to get employment, which means long-term diversion from crime.”

Major businesses and organisations have joined the initiative with IGA, Bunnings and TAFE NSW among those involved.

Commissioner Fuller says kids from “challenging” backgrounds who’ve come through the program are now thriving with jobs.

“Now they’re buying cars, they’re looking forward to saying some money. They’re talking about holidays.”

Some of them, he says, are even hoping to join the police force and become mentors themselves.

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