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Projects from New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia win top Australian crime and violence prevention awards.

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Minister for Justice and Customs Manager of Government Business in the Senate Senator for Western Australia

E142/05 10 November 2005

Projects from New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia win top Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards

Three community projects - two involving alternative sentencing courts for Indigenous offenders, and a multi-agency partnership approach to burglary reduction - have each been selected to receive the major national awards at this year’s Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards.

Presenting the awards, which include cheques for $10 000, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison congratulated all award winners for their initiative and commitment to reducing crime and violence in their communities.

“The awards are designed to reward the most outstanding projects that prevent or reduce crime and violence in Australia, to encourage public initiatives and to assist governments in identifying and developing practical projects to prevent or reduce crime and violence in the community’ Senator Ellison said.

“It is important that programs such as today’s winners are recognised because of the valuable contribution they make in making the community safer.”

The three national awards went to the following projects:

1 Circle Sentencing Nowra (New South Wales) An alternative sentencing court for adult Aboriginal offenders. (ABC 4 Corners, by coincidence, had a program on this project after the ACVPA committee had selected it as a national winner).

2 Operation Burglary Countdown (Western Australia) A burglary reduction pilot project which was conducted in two hotspot locations for 12 months, based on a multi-agency partnership approach.

3 Shepparton Koori Court (Victoria) The Koori Court operates as a special sentencing court within a Magistrates Court to create an informal atmosphere and allow greater participation by the Koori Community through the Koori Elder and Respected Person, the Aboriginal Justice Worker, Koori offenders and their families.

A further 26 projects shared $64,000 in prize money and another 26 received certificates of merit.

Media enquiries: Brad Burke (Minister Ellison) 02 6277 7260 Heather Le Nevez (Australian Institute of Criminology) 02 6231 3377