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HomeIssue 27Opposition claims bail crimes doubled

Opposition claims bail crimes doubled

By ERWIN CHLANDA

The Opposition’s relentless attacks on alleged juvenile offenders are now focussing  on whether or not bail should be granted: The CLP generally says “no”.

It claims since the Gunner Government’s new youth bail laws came into place in May offences have doubled.

Shadow Minister for Territory Families, Joshua Burgoyne, says: “These statistics are damning.

“Our message to Labor is simple: support our bail amendments which set a presumption against bail [it should be denied] for repeat adult and youth offenders, and reinstate breach of bail conditions as an offence for youths.”

Between May 15 and August 1, 2021 some 100 youths were arrested. In 2020/21 some 289 youths were arrested, 245 of whom were already on bail. 57 were arrested for breach of bail.

How many arrests were made of youth offenders for fresh offences committed whilst on bail, the Opposition asked the government? 235.

The practical initiatives to stop this avalanche of offending is limited to one quote from Mr Burgoyne: “The CLP has plans to establish a purpose-built ‘Sentenced to a Skill’ boot camp and would immediately move Youth Justice from Territory Families back to Corrections.”

This is how the ABC described on May 12 the controversial passing of the legislation:

“The changes, which also make it harder for young people in the justice system to access diversion, were fast-tracked despite widespread outcry — and opposition claims that they don’t go far enough.

“A last minute amendment to Labor’s changes will mean courts can still consider re-granting bail for a young person who re-offends or breaches bail conditions if ‘exceptional circumstances’ are proved, says the ABC.

“The changes finalised last week create the ‘automatic’ revocation of bail for reoffending or condition breaches, remove the presumption of bail for first-time offenders and block courts from referring a young person back to police for diversion if police deem it unsuitable.”

Ms Finocchiaro criticised safeguards that mean “trivial” and “technical” breaches don’t trigger the automatic revocation.

She also took issue with a provision allowing for fresh bail to be granted if electronic monitoring or supported bail accommodation conditions are imposed.

Meanwhile in extraordinary democratic blindness, the Opposition Leader’s office notified the Alice Springs News that it will “provide audio from media conferences, upon request, but we will not be facilitating teleconferences”.

That means the News will not be able to attend media conferences of the Opposition which are usually held in Darwin.

I’d suggest you try and organise this with Darwin-based media,” says a spokeswoman, making the imbecilic suggestion that we ask our opposition for ongoing favours.

PHOTO: CCYV cameras in the tightly fenced juvenile bail complex in Gap Road.

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