16 Dec 2011

Safety agreement for town

7:39 am on 16 December 2011

A community group in Murupara which aims to make the rural Bay of Plenty township safer, has reached an agreement with the police.

It will see them working together to help deter young people from re-offending.

Te Ha o Te Ora was set up in response to the killing of two teenagers in 2009, which the police described as gang related incidents.

Chair Jacob Te Kurapa says the police support its restorative justice programme, run by young people to help troubled offenders between the ages of 12 - 18.

He says talks with the police suggest low level offenders who are likely to receive diversion and live in Murupara or have family there, may be directed to the community based programme.

Mr Te Kurapa says the organisation is looking to train young mentors, and expects the programme to start by mid March next year.