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Senate: anti-gang programme update

A 2011 survey of students in public and private schools showed that 21 per cent reported attacking someone with “the intent to seriously harm” and eight per cent identified themselves as being in a gang.

The figures were given as Jeff Baron, the Junior National Security Minister updated the Senate on progress with the Gang Resistance and Training (GREAT) programme.

Sen Baron described the initiative as “an immunisation against delinquency, youth violence and gang membership for children between the ages of ten and 14”.

The programme includes a six-week elementary and a 13-week middle school curriculum.

Since GREAT was re-implemented in 2014, 635 students have taken part, Sen Baron said.

The programme’s costs have been kept minimal, Sen Baron told the Upper House: less than $15,000 to date. There are eight GREAT officers at present.