13 October 2022
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) staunchly opposes the Labor Government’s proposed legislation to raise the Age of Criminal Responsibility.
NTPA Senior Vice President, Lisa Bayliss, said this legislative reform won’t stop crimes being committed by youth offenders, it simply means they won’t be held accountable.
“These watered-down laws will not make our community safer.
“Police will have no option but to continue attending break ins, car thefts, aggravated assaults and armed robberies committed by youths aged 10 and 11. The criminal behaviour won’t stop.
“For example, under these proposed laws the 10-year-old and two 11-year-olds who allegedly brutally assaulted a 13-year-old autistic boy at Casuarina in August, would be let off scot free.
“There are already mechanisms in place to keep low-level, first- and second-time offenders out of the courtroom – and diversion programs for youth offenders.
“We support measures to address underlying issues relating to youth offending, but not at the expense of police resourcing, or taking away consequences for violent, criminal behaviour.
“A 10-year-old isn’t going to court the first time they offend. A 10-year-old isn’t going to Don Dale the second, or third, time they offend. That will only happen when a youth offender has clocked up dozens – or more – charges and the offending has escalated. Now, 10 and 11-year-olds won’t be held responsible, no matter how many crimes they commit.
“Let’s get early-intervention programs working first, and if they are successful and making a difference to community safety, then Government can consider raising the age.
“No one wants to see young people locked up, but there is a community expectation that serious crimes are punished, and victims protected.
“All these changes will do, is embolden youth offenders to continue committing violent crimes, without consequence,” said Mrs Bayliss.
Please direct all media enquiries to NTPA Communications Officer, Kyrrie Blenkinsop +61 (0) 499 017 654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) is the industrial voice of all members of the Northern Territory Police Force. Read more via www.ntpa.com.au or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NTPoliceAssociation