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For the past 13 years, WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has never been shy to share his views in the media.
In his final sit-down TV interview with WAMN News as the top cop, Dr O’Callaghan spoke candidly about various issues.
Amongst all the topics we’ve discussed, youth crimes in Western Australia remains the interview’s key focus.
Dr O’Callaghan expressed concerns that complementary services such as crime prevention maybe under threat, due to WA’s tough financial environment.
However, he remains confident about our state’s youth and says 98% of young people are doing fine.
“I think we have to say that 98 percent of all the kids in this state are doing a great job, they have a vibrant future, they are working hard towards it,” The Commissioner said.
“We are only talking about the 2 percent that are in crisis and needs some level of intervention. I think we can be encourage about the state of Western Australia, I think we can be encouraged about the future.”
“This is one of the safest place in the world to live, so they (youth) should be celebrating that fact.”
The outgoing commissioner also believes law enforcement agencies need to understand young people’s difficult situations before talking about respect.
He stated that family abuse, mental health, and substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) remains the major issues that fuels of youth problems.
“A lot of those kids are coming from very chaotic backgrounds. They don’t have proper parenting, they are seeing or subject to abuse, and that will have an impact of their behavior,” Dr O’Callaghan said.
“Before we can talk about respect, we need to talk about providing those kids with the basic human intervention that they deserve.”
Hopes For PCYC To Play A Bigger Role In Crime Prevention
Police Community Youth Centre continues to play a major role in crime prevention amongst young people in Western Australia.
Commissioner O’Callaghan praised the organization’s youth programs and hopes it will create a positive alternative for ‘on the edge kids’.
“I think PCYC needs to continue to play a big role in people who are in trouble with the justice system and struggling, or likely to end up in the justice system,” He said.
“They’ve got some great programs like ‘Stepping Stone’, where kids who are disengage from school can go there.”
“What we want PCYC to do and delivering is a diversion or alternative, so that kids don’t end up in the justice system, they don’t end up in the hands of police, and they don’t end up in the courts.”
Life After Policing – Family Time Is Paramount
It seems that simple pleasures in life will keep Dr O’Callaghan busy, as he reveals that he will spend more time with his family.
Apart from running a foster care home, Dr O’Callaghan will also travel to Mongolia for charity work by help children suffering serious burns.
“I will probably spend more time with the kids, I will spend more time doing some of things I enjoy doing,” He continued.
“I run a charity which has interest here in Australia and also in Mongolia, so we will be travelling there quite a bit over the next 12 months to work with children who have serious burns.”
When asked about whether he look forward to the theory of a stress free retirement, Dr O’Callaghan went candid and said there are many things still need to be done.
“That sounds like a good theory, but I think my wife has a long list of things which is going to cause me a lot of stress,” he responded.