By ERWIN CHLANDA
Why do police not prosecute parents and carers who fail to provide their children with the necessities of life?
The Australian Law Reform Commission includes in those “a duty to protect children in their care from harm, including harm that is caused as a result of abuse or neglect”.
The Alice Springs News Online put this question to Deputy Chief Minister Dave Tollner in May last year and he gave an evasive answer.
We have now asked Assistant Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker (pictured) in the wake of his statement this week about targeting young people on the streets at night, to crackdown on youth crime, stating that it was “a shameful reality on shoulders of parents and guardians”.
Assistant Commissioner Chalker replied that “we have and do charge people with the offence” of failing to provide children with the necessities of life. We asked him how many of these charges had been laid in Central Australia in the past five years, and how many have resulted in convictions. We will report his reply as soon as we receive it.
Assistant Commissioner Chalker said further: “I think your question is a big step up from the juvenile activity I am seeking to address.
“The activities in the CBD are not linked to children who would generally fit into that category. These are children who have access to food, water, clothing and housing generally.
“I am speaking more so about parental responsibility and control as well as the vast improvements in the town that have been achieved.
“I am sure you are aware of the recent property crime and assault reductions.
“I look forward to your support in acknowledging how great a town Alice Springs is and promoting the clear evidence that police have managed to achieve a significant improvement in this fantastic part of the world in which we are fortunate to live.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA