Gateway Local Learning and Employment Network (Gateway LLEN) has launched new resources in partnership with Victoria Police to tackle the issue of car theft and culpable driving by young people. Funded by a grant from Victoria Law Foundation, the videos and resources will help teachers and guardians to talk to young people about the impact of motor vehicle crime.

Sometimes good kids make bad decisions. Whether due to peer pressure, spur-of-the moment decisions, or lack of awareness of the consequences of their actions, young people can find themselves in dangerous and illegal situations. When these situations involve a motor vehicle, the consequences can be catastrophic.

Based in Melbourne’s East, Gateway LLEN identified a gap in education for young people about motor vehicle crime after growing concern in the community. They created these resources to highlight the severity of this issue, the factors that contribute to this type of offending, and what both adults and young people should be aware of in order to prevent it.

What resources are available?

Written resources are available to help teachers and guardians when discussing the videos to understand the different motor vehicle crimes in Victoria, their impact and their consequences.

The impact of poor decisions

‘Victims pick up that guilt, or you get parents who pick up guilt because their kid was involved in something, or schoolteachers who live with it, or mates who say, ‘I should have stopped him, and I didn’t.’’

One poor decision can impact an entire community. This type of offending has a ripple effect on the lives and futures of the perpetrators, victims, families, and the wider community.

The choices young people are faced with

‘They’re not bad kids, they just get caught up in that moment.’

Good kids can come to make bad choices. It can be difficult to weigh up the long term impact your actions may have when making a spur-of-the-moment decision with your friends, but the consequences can be very serious and long lasting.

What is Co-Offending?

‘I can’t understand why I’m here, because I wasn’t the one who stole the car, I wasn’t the one who drove the car.’

Many young people get into trouble, even if they are not the person breaking into the car and are just tagging along or keeping watch. If you don’t attempt to stop the offending or remove yourself from the situation, you are equally as responsible for the offence and can face the same consequences.

Sobering headlines

‘The headlines are not surprising, but they are heartbreaking because they are pretty avoidable.’

We often see headlines in the media about car theft, crashes, and loss of life as a result. For every headline there are lives that have been permanently affected.

The legacy of poor decisions

‘If we can stop something then and there, we can stop the flow on effect. It’s one of those sliding doors moments.’

The legacy of one bad choice can be long lasting. Friends and family who lost loved ones feel the impact of such decisions for life. It is important to remember there are support services available for young people to help prevent such events before they occur.

For more information about these resources, contact Gateway LLEN.

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