By ERWIN CHLANDA
The government is bringing in a significant suite of new measures to cut crime including “tougher than ever consequences for breach of bail – this means if a young person commits a serious breach while on bail, their bail will be automatically revoked and they will be taken into custody,” says a media release today.
Police will also be given more powers to tackle youth crime through expanded options to apply electronic monitoring.
“The package will include legislative and non-legislative measures to reduce youth crime through targeting repeat offenders,” says the release.
“The Government will also be allocating $5m for additional new youth remand infrastructure. This will allow for an increase of young offenders on remand.
“Bail is a privilege not a right. If a young person commits a serious breach of bail – their bail will be revoked and they will be taken into remand.
“A serious breach of bail will include re-offending while on bail, breaching certain electronic monitoring conditions and curfew, failure to attend court, and failing to complete youth diversion.
“There will be no presumption of bail given to offences such as unlawful entry, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, assault of a worker, assault of police and other serious offences.
“Police will now have more circumstances where they will be able to immediately place a monitoring device on a young person who is alleged to have committed a crime.
“Judges will now know if and how many times a youth has breached bail to make the best sentencing decisions. It will serve exactly the same purpose as the old breach of bail policy, but significantly lessen the amount of paperwork for police,” says the release.
“If a young offender fails to complete their diversion, they will have to go back before the courts and have their case reconsidered.”
The measures will include the establishment of a community work program that will see offenders cleaning graffiti and clearing weeds and landscaping.
Adults who recruit youth to commit offences will be punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
Boot camps and on country work camps across the Territory, behavioural programs and increased training and education for at-risk youths will be introduced in the new measures.
UPDATE Mar 25, 4pm
The Police Association says in a release it welcomes proposed changes by the government and opposition to tackling youth crime but says it is disappointing Labor has delayed debate until May when police need help dealing with the crime wave now.
While there might be some concern about locking up more youths with tougher bail laws and winding back Royal Commission recommendations the facts were that current policies are not working.
It is an outrageous statistic that 50% of those youths on bail are committing further offences.