Combat Crime spaces still available for youth groups

Local youth groups interested in making change within their communities still have time to register for the fourth annual Combat Crime Think Tank, Sept. 30.

“Combat Crime is about encouraging youth who are passionate about leadership for a better tomorrow,” said Amy Jeannotte, YOUCAN Youth Services youth worker and Combat Crime committee member.

In the summer of 2011, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) initiated a pilot-project focused on effective youth engagement.

“It started with EPS wanting to find a way to connect with youth, focusing on crime prevention and leadership,” said Jeannotte.

The initial investigation into how youth can be engaged resulted in many questions that only youth could answer.

To answer these questions the City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Coalition of Crime Councils, the Edmonton Police Service, REACH Edmonton, SOS Children’s Magazine, the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and YOUCAN Youth Services hosted the first Combat Crime: A Youth Think Tank.

It aimed to engage young people about crime prevention and community safety issues in their communities.

Since then, this annual project has involved a one-day symposium where youth groups will meet in their groups and begin the process of creating a project that improves their community or raises awareness about a vital issue within their community.

In February, the groups present their projects at the Bright Ideas Showcase to be judged by a panel. The winning youth group will receive a grant to continue their work in the community.

“We want to make youth feel involved and have their ideas heard,” said Jeannotte. We want them to feel part of something to have their voice heard and feel part of the community and their groups.”

Presently eight groups are signed up for the Sept. 30 symposium, with room for a total of ten groups.

Youth groups interested in joining can still do so by emailing Amy.Jeannotte@youcan.ca.