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There's light at the end of the mall.

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Media Release


Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Senator for South Australia



Thursday 25 March 1999

There’s light at the end of the mall


Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone today released Hanging Out , a report which encourages architects, planners, the police, security guards, shopping centre owners and public servants to be aware of the needs of young people who use public areas like shopping centres and malls.


“Young people like to ‘hang out’ at shopping centres and other public spaces and often they feel safer in groups,” Senator Vanstone said.


“Sometimes, however, security guards, shop owners and others can make young people feel as though they’re unwelcome.


“Older people often feel apprehensive, suspicious or even hostile to young people in public spaces, but both groups have the same right to go to shopping centres, parks and other public spaces.


“In many cases the fact that young people are easily identified means that they are harassed by authority figures such as police or security staff in public spaces, even when they are not engaged in criminal behaviour.


“A few simple things, like involving young people in the management of events, providing services like games parlours, cafe style shops, and dealing with problems in a conciliatory manner can solve these problems.


“Public spaces are for everyone and we should all feel safe when we’re out and about in civic areas, shopping centres and on public transport.


“This report, Hanging Out: Negotiating Young People’s Use of Public Space , provides a review of the relevant literature and a strategic framework for youth crime prevention that will assist owners, managers and developers of public spaces, including those in the private sector, to provide safe public spaces for all users.”


Young people and crime prevention is a priority area for the Federal Government. This report was commissioned by the Commonwealth’s National Crime Prevention, in partnership with the National Anti-Crime Strategy, which comprises all States and Territories.


Consideration is being given to three options for encouraging key decision makers to adopt youth friendly approaches to planning and managing public space. They are:


·  the development of information kits and materials for local councils;

·  the development of specialised training materials for State police and private security guards

·  the development of specific guides on youth public space issues for planners, architects and designers.


Minister available th rough Kevin Donnellan m: 0419 400 078


The Executive Summary of the report is available on the National Crime Prevention website