Lismore City News
Saturday, 2 December 2023

NorthTrack could help lower youth crime rate

David Kirkpatrick
Updated February 21 2022 - 1:38pm, first published 8:11am

With around 70 per cent of property crime in our local police district attributable to young people, Superintendent Scott Tanner is looking for innovative solutions.

The top cop in the Richmond Local Area Command has joined with a committed group of individuals attempting to establish a BackTrack program for Lismore.

BackTrack is a youth intervention program first established in Armidale in 2006. Its founder, Bernie Shakeshaft, was named as the Local Hero at the 2020 Australian of the Year Awards.

His program takes vulnerable young people facing challenges and living on the fringes and helps them participate in education, training and to find employment.

"BackTrack takes disadvantaged and disengaged young people and teaches them life skills and helps them with employment and education," Supt Tanner said.

"We want to start a similar program here, a sister program and call it NorthTrack.

"In Armidale youth crime dropped 40 per cent due to the actions of BackTrack."

In April, the group behind NorthTrack, is planning to stage an outdoor screening in The Quad of the award-winning documentary made about the program, Backtrack Boys.

Norco provided the group with the funds to secure the outdoor screen.

David Kirkpatrick

I'm a media professional with over 34 years of experience in public relations and journalism, including a decade setting Lismore's news agenda as the editor of The Northern Star. I have proven track record in growing audiences and improving engagement by delivering quality local stories for and about the Lismore community.