Skip to content

ANZSOG Case Library: Blacktown’s groundbreaking crime-fighting collaboration

22 November 2017

News and media



A successful collaboration between police and community groups which cut youth crime in Blacktown has been added to ANZSOG’s John L. Alford Case Library.

Mutual Respect: Tackling youth crime in Blacktown outlines the efforts of Blacktown Police Commander Mark Wright to engage with churches, youth-focused NGOs, state and local government and the local Westpoint Shopping Centre to reduce crime and develop alternatives for local youth.

The City of Blacktown in western Sydney has a population of about 300,000, and is a strongly multicultural area and transport hub.

While government funding models tended to pit NGOs together, Wright was able to get them to work together to form a tight group of senior leaders with the power to get things done. They also had buy-in from the shopping centre, which provided space for programs.

The COM4Unity initiative began in 2009 and led the establishment of diversion programs including dance showcases, soccer matches and retail job training. This increased young people’s social cohesion and sense of local ownership, and led to a reduction in crime and public disorder.

The case examines how the program’s success was dependent on support from organisations as well as the passion of individuals and outlines how the inclusion of partners from all three sectors was crucial to its success.

Removal of quad bikes from WA Emergency Services

Another recently-added case, Riding roughshod: The removal of quad bikes from WA Emergency Services, examines how the replacement of quad bikes by All-Terrain Vehicles became a flashpoint for the relationship between WA’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the State Emergency Service which it oversees.

Despite operating in the areas of natural disaster relief and search and rescue, the two agencies have different histories and cultures, and the decision led to several years of angst and mistrust between them.

The diversity of topics in the Case Library is one of its key strengths, and ANZSOG will continue to research and publish new cases to ensure the library reflects current practice in, and policy issues facing, the public sector.

The Case Library was created in 2004 to remedy the lack of teaching cases relevant to Australia and New Zealand. It offers users a regularly updated collection of cases, which are both a resource for instructors using interactive case-based teaching approaches, and for practitioners and researchers seeking authoritative accounts of important public policy and management issues. Each case is thoroughly researched and reviewed.

About the John L. Alford Case Library

These cases are new additions to ANZSOG’s John L. Alford Case Library, a globally-recognised resource which was recently opened to the public, who can now access almost 200 detailed public sector management cases from Australia and New Zealand under a creative commons licence.

ANZSOG’s decision to open up the Case Library is part of its mission to enhance the quality of public sector leadership in Australia and New Zealand.

The Case Library is essential to the ANZSOG philosophy of interactive teaching, which uses real examples to engage participants in active discussion and to illustrate key concepts and practices in public policy and management.

It is named after Professor John Alford, who was a foundation director of the Case Library from 2004 until 2014, and a pioneer in the application of case teaching methods in Australia.

Read more about it here.