RISEUP – Working together to improve outcomes for young people

Assistant Commissioner Joseph Cassar1, Mr Dominic  Teakle2

1NSW Police Force, Sydney, Australia, 2Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) NSW, Whalan, Australia

The NSW Police Force and PCYC NSW have partnered together to deliver a suite of early intervention programs for young people as part of the Commissioner’s RISEUP Strategy.  This Strategy seeks to achieve positive outcomes for young people and divert them from the criminal justice system.

The eight programs which underpin the Strategy utilise a variety of strategies including addressing developmental crime prevention, positive relationships, support networking, cognitive behavioural sessions, healthy lifestyles, living skills, and skills to enhance employment capability. Young people are supported by police youth case managers, PCYC NSW youth workers and other specialist services throughout the programs and receive ongoing support from police youth case managers for a further twelve months.  The assistance, mentoring, advice and leadership provided to young people can help tackle the underlying causes of offending behaviour, reduce crime and violence.

The final component of RISEUP is the opportunity for participants to be connected to employment or further opportunities to enhance employment capability.  The success of RISEUP can be credited to the support of dedicated founding industry partners and local businesses, vocational trainers, youth workers and police youth case managers who have assisted more than 60 young people gain employment through the Strategy since its launch in August 2018.

NSW Police Force and PCYC NSW work collaboratively within the justice cluster and broader sector in the delivery of the RISEUP Strategy to ensure that support for young people is well coordinated, effective and not duplicated.


Assistant Commissioner Joseph Cassar APM joined the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) in December, 1987 and has performed General Duties policing in the Regional and Metropolitan Commands.  In 1992 Joe was designated as a Detective and worked in both local Criminal Investigations and Specialist Criminal Investigations, including the Drug Squad, Child Abuse and Homicide Squad.

In 2005 Joe was promoted to Detective Inspector, Crime Manager – Eastern Beaches LAC.  In 2008 Joe set up the NSWPF Alcohol Licensing Enforcement Command, which proved to be a primary contributor to changing alcohol related culture and alcohol service attitudes within NSW.  In 2010 Joe was promoted to Superintendent, where he commanded the Cabramatta, Shoalhaven and Wollongong Local Area Commands.  On 30 July, 2017 Joe was promoted to Assistant Commissioner, of the newly created Capability, Performance and Youth Command.  This Command takes in the Youth & Crime Prevention Command who work closely with all NSWP Commands and the Police Citizen Youth Clubs in reducing youth reoffending rates.

Dominic commenced at PCYC NSW in November 2016. Dominic has extensive executive experience across Government, Events and entertainment, IT services and sporting organisations, with a 20 year career as an Army Officer which included representational and operational experience. He brings to PCYC NSW a strong values based leadership style, respect for the Police and history, and a passion to grow the legacy of PCYC NSW to deliver expanded empowering experiences to youth and the community.