GOVERNMENT FAILS 20,000 VEHICLE OWNERS

GOVERNMENT FAILS 20,000 VEHICLE OWNERS

Police arrest the thieves, and courts release them. There has to be a better way.

That way is what the CAA calls the G-Tag (Electronic Vehicle tracking).

If the Government won’t bring the Courts into line to do their job, then the community will have to take action.

Every day, we are told of yet another shocking crime or string of crimes to which a Motor car is central, but the government sits on its hands and takes no action apart from the odd manipulation of statistics to deflect criticism.

First and foremost, the judiciary has failed, and its role now must be evaluated based on the ineffectiveness of its penalties by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

The Key indicator is the primary function of a sentence: general deterrence. However, this has been lost in the mire of so-called diversions, few of which divert the offenders from more crime.

If a judicial officer’s adjudication is below a benchmark performance (KPI), and particularly if the sentencing fails to achieve the primary objective of deterring others, then they need to explain their failure, and where that failure is consistent, they should be removed from the bench.

The reality is that if the circa 20,000 cars and other vehicles that are stolen annually and used by criminals were made unusable for their criminal activities, the theft of cars would drop dramatically, and with it, the crime the vehicles facilitate.

There would not only be a massive crime drop but also a massive impact on car owners’ safety and reduced cost, as the dramatic drop in Victorian fleet thefts would force insurers to lower premiums as the risk factors diminish.

The Courts have failed to reign in crime and blame the government, which, in turn, accuses the Courts.

Additionally, the Government has been made aware of an alternate plan since 2016 but considers the plan not even worthy of discussing with the CAA.

The problem with the plan we agree, challenges the status quo, but the status quo doesn’t help the thousands of victims; the G-Tag will.

See,

https://caainc.org.au/g-tag-a-new-paradigm-in-community-safety

https://caainc.org.au/?s=G-Tag

There is, however, an alternate option: bypassing the government.

The alternative is providing the private sector with the opportunity to implement the G-Tag.

A subscription service to protect vehicles would be cost-effective for owners who could offset some of the cost with reduced premiums from insurers and provide a disabling capacity for vehicles if they are stolen, which could be a viable alternative to waiting for the government.

The money this would save the State purse by reducing crime and processing criminals would justify some relief for those who subscribe to the G-Tag service.

The security industry already operates control rooms that monitor security equipment, and some companies monitor the movement of ankle bracelets, so providing a G-Tag service would not be a significant technological step.

Although technology is unlikely to stop a vehicle from being stolen as soon as the owner is aware, the car can be disabled, making it useless for the crooks.

Most high-end vehicles already have the technology built-in, and other vehicles are relatively cheap to equip.

The disruption to the crook’s plans would deter them from stealing any vehicle with a G-Tag sticker on the window.

The G-Tag can put a vehicle into ‘limp home mode’, reducing its maximum speed to 80 KPH, and then disable the engine when it is safe.

The police can be notified of the incident and organise an interception coordinated with the use of the vehicle’s disabling capacity.

One distinct advantage is that thieves are unlikely to have the opportunity to torch the vehicle, destroying evidence.

A negotiation with the E-Tag operators could make this concept more viable.

It is a big challenge; however, if we wait for the government, it will never happen, and the crooks will continue to operate with gay abandon, and victims will continue to be put at risk because of government inaction.

Whether you are an Uber Driver or a Mum on the school run, we must lift their protection.

The CAA calls on entrepreneurial businesses who might be interested in exploring this concept to contact us at info@caainc.org.au

NEW YOUTH BILL TO WEAKEN YOUTH LAWS.

NEW YOUTH BILL TO WEAKEN YOUTH LAWS.

To say the CAA has deep concerns about this Bill and the adverse impact it will have on raising youth crime in this state is a gross understatement.

What is generally not well understood is that this Bill is ‘the foot in the door’ for further introducing the concept of ‘Restorative Justice’, a monumental change in how Justice is dispensed in this State.

A plan that promotes ideology over pragmatism.

Significant changes included in this Bill include the plethora of conferences and committees required to manage each offender instead of the concept of punishment and accountability, which has been whitewashed out of this Bill.

Preventing young people from committing crimes in the first place is not even mentioned.

Effectively, a child can take a position where they will not comply with any processes available to the Courts or any other authorities under this Bill, and nothing can be done about it. No punishment can be applied, regardless of the child’s actions.

We suspect that the majority of the community and many politicians do not understand the consequences of this Bill, and none of them are good.

Why wasn’t the community advised of this change? We are unaware of where the Government of the day achieved a mandate for such a severe and monumental change to the principles of Justice.

It took five years to draft, underscoring the difficulty and, given the outcome, incompetence displayed in the principles that have evolved to form this Bill.

This Bill will continue to stoke crime, not diminish it.

‘A committee was formed to design a Horse ( the Bill to Reform Youth Justice), but they came up with a camel ( no ordinary Camel but a two-humped  Bactrian Camel with three legs).’

 With all the effort of five years, the Bill as presented does not address the issue the community now faces and is riddled with extreme socialist ideology and drafted by a committee that has no understanding of the people they are supposed to be protecting. It will feed the crime wave.

The Bill misses the mark by a long way.

Central to the flaw in this Bill is the assumption that children under thirteen (13) cannot form criminal intent.

This assumption isn’t based on any empirical data and flies in the face of the reality of the evolution of human development.

Over the last two decades, the development of young people has accelerated faster than any other preceding era.

The speed at which this has occurred is most evident in the last ten years when evolution achieved warp speed, driven by two significant factors: Nutrition and Technology.

The ‘canary in the coal mine’, the juvenile crime surge, generally ignored, has seen the accelerated crime rate by Juveniles and the failure to recognise the changes that were occurring in front of us all.

 Nutrition

The impact of a higher level of nutrition in recent times must be seen as positive as young people will probably grow up healthier than their predecessors, but with that nutrition comes increased physical development. It’s not an issue until you realise that young people, on average, are taller and better developed physically than their predecessors. A phenomenon that immature minds can and do exploit.

 Technology

Technology continues to accelerate at warp speed, and young people born in this era are the ones who maximise its use. They are more connected and have access to more data than previous generations ever dreamed of. This massive influx of good and bad information has developed young people’s mental acuity well beyond the perceived norm. This has happened without comparative life skills development.

They, therefore, lack the ability and maturity to process and analyse this physical development effectively, leading them to emulate others without understanding the consequences or ignoring the consequences because there are none.

Impact

Today, a 10 – 12-year-old is the equivalent of a 13–15-year-old ten years ago.

The Bill is headed in the wrong direction and should instead be lowering the age of criminal responsibility, not lifting it, particularly when the child understands what they did was criminal.

 Lifting the age of criminal intent to 12 years before children can be charged with a crime, irrespective of their development, is a recipe for increased crime. Waiting until they are older before any legal intervention can occur entrenches the child further into crime, making efforts to rehabilitate them from crime much more difficult.

Early intervention will reduce crime and improve the chances of young people developing without the stigma of exposure to Legal processes.

 Why do we have to wait until a young person is climbing the hierarchy of crime before any action is taken?

 

NEW CRIME DATA REVEALS SHOCKING EXTENT OF VICTORIA’S YOUTH CRIME WAVE

NEW CRIME DATA REVEALS SHOCKING EXTENT OF VICTORIA’S YOUTH CRIME WAVE

An article appeared in the Herald Sun on the 20th of June under the above heading and exposed the real and present dangers that Victorians face.

Crimes involving children as young as 10 years old have soared to their highest level since 2010 as alarming new figures reveal the state’s growing youth crime wave.

Children aged 14 to 17 years old were “over-represented” in burglaries, assaults, robberies and car thefts while almost 400 youth gang members were arrested within the past 12 months.

Baby-faced offenders aged 10 or 11 years old also recorded a 52.6 per cent spike in the number of offences committed.

More than a third of young criminals aged between 10 and 17 years old are repeat offenders, with the number of recidivist offenders rising by 10.4 per cent.

Children aged 10 to 13 years old were responsible for 84 aggravated burglaries across the state.

Five years ago, they had only been involved in 18.

These alarming figures are from the Crimes Statistics Agency Victoria, and apart from the danger these figures indicate, we are exposed to the more problematic fact that the Government is working hard to fan the flames of the issue, not resolve it.

More importantly, the government holds overall responsibility and is protecting ineptitude in the various arms of governments responsible for managing youth crime.

These must be held to account as much as the government.

The Courts

Daily, yet another juvenile responsible for atrocious crimes is being granted bail.

And given the Bail Act, it makes us wonder just what the judiciary is at.

The recent Bail Amendment Act 2023 (the Act), which commenced on 25 March 2024, made further changes to the Bail Act 1977, seeking to ensure bail laws protect the whole community and better target the use of remand for cases where it is necessary to prevent an unacceptable risk to community safety.- https://www.criminalsolicitorsmelbourne.com.au/blog/victorian-bail-law-reform

The Act is clear and applies standard English interpretations to the understanding of the Act’s purpose as amended; how do the courts circumnavigate this legislation, not occasionally but regularly, without apparent intervention by the government?

If the Attorney General does not provide leadership, the Director of Public Prosecutions must appeal some of these Court decisions.

What’s the good of having a government that produces a law that the courts ignore, suggesting they are not interested in subservience to the legislation?

It is our opinion that we are reaping the folly of the Restorative Justice fantasy forced on us as a solution to crime, but it has been an abject failure – just look at the crime statistics.

Why would any sane, reasonable person countenance any principles of that failed social experiment defies logic? And it is even more astounding that the judiciary could be seduced by this rubbish.

The Police

The Police do not help the whole issue.

The first point is that they need to stop making excuses that support the mindset that they can arrest their way out of the problem.

It took two decades to convert the Victoria Police Force under two visionary Chief Commissioners, Miller and Glare, from one predominantly reactive (as they are today) to a predominantly proactive force, particularly with youth.

The results were that crime by juveniles was not the epidemic it now is, and overall, crime declined as fewer juvenile offenders grew into adult offenders rather than managing and encouraging the juveniles into crime.

It took only one Chief Commissioner to destroy the effective direction of the force and three consecutive Chiefs, predominantly with a background of exclusive reactive federal police experience, to ensure the proactive approach was kept from developing, even though many operational police know the value of the proactive approach but gained no support as the police priority remains reactive.

The current Chief Commissioner has attempted to push back against the trend with limited success, as the crime statistics illustrate.

There is a major problem when you have an Acting Deputy Commissioner of Regional Operations, Brett Curran, quoted as saying, “A small group of hardened” young criminals were now committing severe and violent crimes more often.” (spin)

The following line says, ‘nearly 400 youth gang members have been arrested in the past 12 months.’ (fact)

 Mr Curran also said, “Police arrested seven youth gang members, child thieves and car thieves every day during the past year.” (Spin)

That claim by Mr Curran equates to 2,555 youth gang member arrests, not nearly 400.

Indeed, some are arrested time and time again.  Why? Because the courts are failing in their duty to the citizens of this state.

So much for the claim of a small number.

Victims would undoubtedly be impressed by the Deputies’ analysis (and maths) as they try to put their lives back together after an experience with the “small group”.

We wonder whether the Deputy who spent a considerable time out of policing as Daniel Andrew’s Chief of Staff has lost perspective.

As a Police executive, he has to learn not to use political spin he knew in his last job. The community sees straight through it and expects better from their Police leadership.

 

Department of Justice Youth Workers

Very little is said about their role or lack of success in the youth space, so we generally can only rely on the data, and by that measure, they have failed demonstrably.

They are referred to often in legislative discussions and are provided with powers to do their job. Still, there is something obviously and categorically wrong with the function of that government component.

These Youth workers aim to empower –  young people in custody to steer their lives in a more positive direction when they return to the community”.

.- https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/youthjusticecareers

What a nonsensical function because the courts have demonstrated they are determined to have no juveniles of any age in custody. This supports the view that the courts wear this as a badge of honour and a demonstration that they are not subservient to the legislation. It is very dangerous and challenging to our democracy.

So, theoretically, those youth workers at the Department of Justice have little to do, as no juveniles are returning to the community; they never left.

 

Lifting the age of criminal responsibility

If a government were ever grossly tone-deaf, this issue is a classic. The age of criminal responsibility is planned to move from 10 to 14 years during a youth crime tsunami that the CAA warned was coming nine years ago. This has got to be the stupidest act any government has embarked upon in the crime space.

All this is based on is a feared notion that all children will end up in jail – which they don’t. Ideological nonsense is based on no empirical evidence.

This rubbish sways a government that wants to be taken seriously and is in denial of reality, a dangerous place for any government.

Moreover, children in this age bracket only ever get charged as distinct from being put in jail if they are not Doli Incapax, meaning incapable of forming criminal intent.

The question, therefore, is what to do with these miscreants, and that is a million-dollar question that all the “experts” advising the government on the bill have failed to resolve because no solution is offered.

The non-solution

The non-solution was reported as,

‘Police would still retain the power to intervene with younger offenders, including having the power to transport ten and 11-year-olds that find themselves in trouble with the law.’

The solution

The solution remains as elusive as it always has, and this legislation will not help, as it lacks a fundamental guiding principle for children and young people: accountability.

If children, or anybody, knows there are no consequences for criminal behaviour, then that’s what they will do, and they won’t change. Why would they if they enjoy it?

The problem is a lack of foresight and understanding of children and juveniles.

Children and Juveniles who play sports are less likely to commit offences, and the key is that sport has rules, and if the rules are disobeyed, there are consequences. That applies whether they are spectators or participants. Those youths who regularly attend school are also less likely to offend than those who don’t; again, rules with consequences.

Most people of all ages live within society’s rules; if they digress, there are consequences.

A significant contributor by a long measure to our present youth crisis is that for criminal behaviour, there are no consequences if you break the rules.

The issue of incarceration of children has been the primary driver for this reform, based on the emotive argument ‘you can’t put children in jail’, but the problem is being viewed from the wrong perspective.

The reform must encompass the principle of consequences, as all the other approaches are ineffective.

Rather than demonise the broad ‘jail’ concept, we should look at how it can positively affect young people.

We have long advocated that the justice system is too afraid to deal with the crisis of putting a child in jail, and often, that is not serving the interest of the juvenile or child.

One of the current flaws is that the judiciary views young offenders when considering penalties from an adult perspective.

Young people have a different perspective of time than adults, and a week or so in detention, where they gain privileges by compliance, will have a marked positive impact on them.

Young people respond exceptionally well to rules as they offer some solace and security; however, if they have never been taught discipline and breaking rules has consequences, it doesn’t work.

We are not talking about traditional views of jail but of securing the young person without privileges for weeks, not years. Their behaviour dictates the time they are in secure accommodation, not the judiciary. As much as the judiciary thinks they know how a child will respond, they don’t because they are not there with the child 24/7.

There are significant omissions in the proposed Youth Justice Bill currently before Parliament.

The most significant omission in the Bill

As much as the parents of these miscreants (if they have any) are criticised for lack of action, the Bill does nothing to elevate the role of the parents or guardians.

Yes, there are hopeless parents responsible for troubled children, but the vast majority try; many try but are judged poorly, and there is no provision to help upskill parents, and they have all but been omitted from this Bill. They have an essential role to play in reinforcing other initiatives.

Home detention

Supported by electronic monitoring, home detention should be the first option for any child convicted of an offence. Children do not understand ‘Orders’, and the other plethora of titles bandied about in the Courtroom.

Many need to understand that if they walk out after a court hearing unpenalized after a hearing, they haven’t necessarily beaten the charges, and their bragging rights within their cohort are worthless.

The new sophisticated Electronic Monitoring (EM) devices can fix a virtual perimeter for the child to live within, while providing for their education, sports and other essential family functions.

The EM device can alert a parent their child is leaving the house, breaching physical or social media curfew rather than finding they are gone the following day. Home detention means they cannot exercise their free will outside boundaries, and the EM gives the parents the tools they need to enforce it.

Use of their social media devices also needs to be controlled, and privileges gained by good behaviour and compliance to the rules, allowing more access.

The length of time that the child is in home detention should be based on the child’s or youth’s behavioural improvement.

Home detention is a very cost-effective way to manage miscreant children and divert them out of their criminal behavioural cycle.

Although we won’t hold our breath, maybe the enlightened members of parliament will see this legislation for what it is: a half-baked hotchpotch of ideological one-liners masquerading as legislation for the betterment of the State and its children.

There indeed are flaws in the current system, and they should be fixed rather than embarking on an untried excursion. Fix it; don’t replace it with thousands of pages of convoluted rubbish that will only hurt our most vulnerable children.

Inevitably, this legislation will leave vulnerable children at further risk, will do nothing to prevent more victims from being traumatised and will further impede effective policing.

An urgent community-based examination of a better way forward might lead to a real improvement in our juvenile justice system.

Simply raising the age of criminal culpability will have the effect of increasing crime as there are no barriers to young people offending.

YOUTH CRIME AN AVOIDABLE CRISIS

YOUTH CRIME AN AVOIDABLE CRISIS

Youth Crime is now at epidemic proportions, and our leaders are indulging in severe hand-wringing while applying Statistical interpretation spin trying to deflect blame.

A byproduct of this problem is a 12-year-old has murdered her carer. That murder is a direct consequence of ideological values trumping pragmatic actions – the 12-year-old should have been in secure care.

The girl had run away 275 times in three years, and nobody was clever enough to put her in secure care to protect her.

The CAA has long been warning of this totally predictable outcome, first identified by the CAA nearly a decade ago. Our so-called leaders are unashamedly changing the measuring parameters to cover their ineptitude.

Different labels will not modify behaviour.

The missing link in this issue, as with others, is Leadership. Without competent leadership, this, like many other problems, will not be addressed in any meaningful way – they can just blame the parents, a motherhood statement to deflect from their ineptitude.

As reported in the Melb. Age 22/12/23, data released by the Crime Statistics Agency on Thursday shows crimes committed by minors have reached a nine-year high, with those aged 10 to 18 overrepresented in robberies, burglaries, and theft.

The strategy, it seems, is that raising the age of criminal responsibility will solve the problem because children under 14 are too young to understand they are breaking the law. Technically probably true, but they certainly know right from wrong.

Of course, this strategy will solve the problem (statistically) overnight.

The Statistics Agency will produce glowing figures for the seat polishers to crow about, having achieved a dramatic fall in youth-related crime offending. Statistics don’t lie, but when it comes to statistics, there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

This strategy is cold comfort for Victims of a home invasion, as categorising young miscreants’ actions as not criminal is only a label and will not drive behavioural change. However, more than likely it will increase the offending because young people will know, there are no consequences. “If I break into a house, I can’t get into trouble.”

Expert advice quoted in the article says it all,

“It was ‘ludicrous’ to think that a 12-year-old could be held legally responsible for their actions.”

This is the type of ideological rubbish ‘Expert advice’ that has got us to where we are now.

Children of this age know right from wrong; however, they may not fully understand the consequences of their actions, which is a far cry from not understanding what actions are criminal (wrong).

From a very young age, we teach children not to do things, explaining and sometimes by controlled demonstration, the consequences if they ignore our advice. Don’t put your hand close to the fire, or you will get burnt. Do not cross the road without looking, etc. By the time a child is about 6, they have grasped right from wrong in a rudimental sense.

So, we are prepared and accept that teaching children life skills is acceptable and desirable, but we want to give them a free pass regarding criminality.

Children are taught through consequences that they understand. Still, often, no more is needed than a reprimand to achieve complaint behaviour that is in their best interest. A Police caution, for example.

This leads to a major part of the solution – education.

Children’s criminality is a learned phenomenon, not a lack of understanding of right from wrong. There are simple solutions if we are serious about making changes and saving many young lives from being wasted.

Behaviour is taught, not hard-wired into their cognisance.

Essentially, support parents rather than blame them by introducing a formal learning program to address and correct the cognisance of young people using the group learning approach only available within the school system.

The calls for more support services are just that, calls, and are the same calls echoed every time the statistics on youth offenders are released year in and year out.

Simply changing the age of criminal responsibility will not change or reduce any criminal behaviour. The children will still commit robberies (Home invasions), burglaries (Home invasions when nobody is home), and theft (Predominantly from other children).

So, education is first, and the second part is to introduce appropriate consequences.

Police say a “core group of 207 recidivist offenders” are responsible for most of the crimes, with officers arresting 82 youth offenders more than 10 times over the reporting period.

The second part of a strategy to dramatically reduce offending is to prioritise proactive work rather than worry about diversions after they are caught.

The courts have a major role to play, and the above paragraph clearly demonstrates the Court’s failure to contribute to modifying the status quo.

How can anybody expect a juvenile to stop offending if they are arrested over 12 months more than 10 times? When does the penny drop, they are currently incorrigible.

After once, twice or thrice, there is an irrefutable argument that they need to be secured to,

  • Protect them from themselves.
  • Demonstrate that their actions come with consequences.
  • Protect potential victims.
  • Stop rationalising their behaviour.

 

There is an argument for a mandatory three-strike rule if the Judiciary declines to show leadership and facilitate consequences rather than threats.

Diversions for repeat offenders mean they are not working, so why persist with them?

The argument that the CAA has proffered for those who succumb to drug problems can be transposed into the youth area.

It is not how long they are in detention, but the fact that they are, is the key.

All the negative arguments put forward in opposition to detention are based on the assumption of the impact of months or years; we propose weeks of structured detention, not a week-long party doing nothing, their favourite pastime, apart from committing crimes.

What is misunderstood and not considered is that time for young people moves at a far slower pace than it does as we age, so we cannot properly transpose issues to young people measured in adult time or values.

A week or two in detention will achieve the desirable outcome. They will not be hardened into criminality but will cause a hiatus in their social networking that forms part of their criminal activity.

They can also be exposed to discipline.

No ability to connect with peers for a week or so will cause the peers to move on, and the perpetrator has broken the nexus, enabling them to shake bad behaviour and influences, one of the big drivers of juvenile crime.

In two weeks, the average social network of a young person can change multiple times.

The CAA implores those of influence to change course for the good of young people and focus on education and developing appropriate consequences if there is any hope of achieving a breakthrough to reduce destroying young lives, let alone the lives of some of their victims.

All current efforts have failed and discontinuing the Police in Schools program a decade or more ago removed one of the key pillars, education.

The other major contributor is applying the failed theory of Restorative Justice to the juvenile sector. A concept that rewards bad behaviour and moves responsibility to the victims.

As a senior Police executive was quoted as saying,

“When population is considered, Victoria still has its second-lowest crime rate at any point over the past decade”.

That statement, ‘weasel words’, perhaps says it all, considering the population, it seems, is only an afterthought, where they should be a critical consideration in prioritising action to resolve the problem. It is deeply worrying that the population is so poorly considered as a priority by the Police.

No more ‘weasel words’, but identifiable and realistic actions.

It is time to show the mettle, not the hollow, repetitive words and statistics currently in vogue.

Acknowledge and fix the problem.