Sen. Const. Dave Atkins wants to get to know the young people of the Wheatbelt so he can help drive down the causes of crime. Previously working with Wagin police, Sen. Const. Atkins has taken on a new role as a youth policing officer based in Narrogin. He started in the role on Monday. “This position is about intervening before juvenile offending starts,” he said. “Diversion recognises that a young person’s criminal behaviour is largely a product of a variety of circumstances including their age, maturity and back- ground. “The WA Police Commissioner’s intent is to prioritise juvenile offending by early engagement, interdepartmental collaboration strategies and diverting them from the courts by use of cautions, juvenile justice teams and youth intervention programs.” Sen. Const. Atkins will service Narrogin and surrounding towns such as Brookton, Pingelly, Williams, Wagin and Dumbleyung. “This position takes the pressure off the frontline officers and allows more time to be spent on youth diversion,” he said. Some of his strategies will include connecting with youths and their families, working to get more children to school, and visiting schools to work with principals. “I’ll also be involved with working with government and non-government organisations to support them and put some programs in place if needed,” he said.