LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – We are visiting Alice Springs and we are astounded to hear that an 87 year old local woman is alleged to have been attacked with a golf club.
And we hear these scum are out on bail and allegedly still harassing her.
Alice Springs does not stand alone in such appalling statistics. Katherine, Darwin and surrounding communities are all experiencing escalating incidents of crime against persons and property. Communities are outraged.
What’s the answer?
One option is to sack those judges handing out easy bail (against the advice of police) and short sentences inappropriate to the crime. There are apparently few consequences for the perpetrators but often life sentences for traumatized victims.
So how do you sack a judge, you might ask? It is quite a process.
A Parliamentary Enquiry has to be undertaken by the government of the day into the actions of the judge who has not complied with the legislation enacted by the Parliament.
So what the judges are doing at the moment is well within their rights to do regarding bail and sentencing, because the legislation allows them to do it.
So if changes are going to be made, they must be made by our elected representatives in the Legislative Assembly.
The problem can be rectified by the present Labor Government taking a tougher stance by amending the Bail Act and the Sentencing Act and maybe even the Criminal Code.
Or even drafting fresh legislation specifically to deal with juvenile offenders or amending the Youth Justice Act.
Ideas for legislative amendments that might be considered include that no bail be granted if offences occur in the company of others; that no bail be granted if they are facing charges for any other offence; or if the police submit that they believe the offender will break their bail, it is mandatory that no bail is allowed.
It should be compulsory that while on remand, juveniles attend school and that their behavior and results achieved during this time is taken into account later.
This is within the power of the Labor Government and they just need the guts and backbone to protect hard working and vulnerable Territorians from emboldened youth who now feel the system cannot touch them.
Territorians should not be suffering fear and financial loss and trauma from out-of-control juveniles.
Braedon Earley (pictured)
1 Territory President