‘WACK- A- MOLE’ Government Strategy on Youth.

‘WACK- A- MOLE’ Government Strategy on Youth.

(‘Whack-a-Mole’ is a 1970s arcade-style game that lives up to its name. It consists of Moles popping up out of their burrows randomly and the players trying to wack them with a mallet.)

At a time when the youth crisis is in an out-of-control spiral, irrespective of how the government tries to spin the problem, the Government is using the police force in a futile effort to resolve the issue by forcing them to play ‘Wack-A-Mole

Additionally, the government trumpets action, which turns out to be inaction, that the community is supposed to accept, but it is all smoke and mirrors with no clear strategy.

The problem that we face with young people and crime, in general, is that nobody is doing anything about reducing crime before it occurs. They would rather play ‘Wack-a-Mol’,

As reported in the Herald Sun,

  • Vehicle thefts have jumped by 25% to 40000.
  • 59,000 motorists had valuables stolen from their vehicles.

And the advice for drivers was to lock their cars and hide valuables – the victim’s fault.

These statistics become more concerning yearly – more offences, more victims.

This crime is shared between opportunistic drug addicts to fund their addiction and juveniles out for ‘the thrill’. The crime surge is the fault of weak legislation and poor strategies to combat crime. Blaming the victim is unforgivable.

But never fear. The government has spent five years drafting a new Youth Justice Bill to address the current anomalies in the Judicial system.

The Bill, if enacted in its present form, will add to the crime problem, not diminish it, as its sole focus is diverting young people from the Justice system after they offend, and its 900 pages do not mention once, what can be done with younger children, to divert them from crime. However, it expends a lot of words to remove concepts of accountability and consequences from all young offenders.

It also lifts the age of criminal responsibility to 13 years from 10 years, an ideological whim not only contradicts the empirical evidence published by government agencies but expends no energy on how these children in that underage cohort who commit crimes will be dealt with.

‘Alarming statistics released in June found crimes involving children as young as ten had soared to their highest level since 2010, with a 52.6 per cent spike in offences committed by ten and 11-year-olds.

Children aged 10 to 13 years old were responsible for 84 aggravated burglaries, while those aged 14 to 17 were considered to be “over-represented” in burglaries, assaults, robberies and car thefts – HS 10.7.2024

A cynic may suggest that the statistics don’t show children younger than 10 committing crimes because they are below the legislated age of criminal intent. That cohort will show a 100% decline in children aged 10 and 11 committing crimes when the age is lifted.

Will the government exploit this statistical foible to pretend they’re solving the problem? Doubtless, they will.

With contributions like ‘dob in a mate’ the latest government offering, all we can say is, ‘good luck with that’. However, it points to the disconnect between the government and its advisers and the real world.

The reality is that Police and the community will just have to wait until a perpetrator turns 13 before their criminal endeavours can perhaps be curtailed. On occasions, police in the past have had to wait until a child turns ten before they can be presented to the judicial system to curb their criminal behaviour.

These arbitrary age limits do not necessarily coincide with the child’s acuity development or when a child is acting in concert with others who may be older in the commission of crimes.

They must be scrapped.

Of course, being charged is only part of the problem. The main issues are,

  • Ineffective bail laws.

The failure of the Bail Laws, which the Courts say is not their fault but the legislators, is the lamest excuse ever hidden behind, a weak excuse and entirely accurate.

  • Failure to hold children to account for their actions.

If criminal behaviour does not have consequences, what motivation exists to change children’s behaviour – talk fests and meetings don’t cut it.

  • Failure to apply sanctions for criminality.

The law is based, in part, on a fear (Deterrent factor) that certain unacceptable behaviours attract sanctions imposed by a Court, but illogically, this concept is removed from children, which is a significant part of the problem as they seldom suffer any accurate or effective sanctions.

The future for the children is not looking good; by the time their unlawful behaviour is checked, crime is entrenched in their psyche or soul, and the chances of rehabilitation are problematic.

Easy bail is only one of the many illogical approaches the government has persisted with, as, for example, the most recent absconding of a juvenile bailed on charges of culpable driving causing death after a stolen car he was allegedly driving ploughed into another vehicle, killing the occupant.

The perpetrator absconded within hours of being bailed, and the real fear is that he was behind the wheel of another stolen car. Now in custody, what he did for the three days on the run will no doubt be exposed in due course.

In this matter, the government and the courts have blood on their hands, but will that be enough to have them wake up and do their job in the community’s best interests?

The CAA calls on the government to act before more innocent lives are lost.

  • Immediately amend the Bail Act to unshackle the Courts (who will then have no excuse) and follow the New South Wales model of liberalising the ability of the courts to reject applications for the privilege of Bail in appropriate cases.
  • Immediately reinstate the offence of breach of bail conditions.
  • Immediately abandon the notion of lifting the age for criminal intent. All children develop at different stages; therefore, the age is somewhat irrelevant anyway, and all ages should be removed instead, relying on the common law principle of doli incapaxa, a Latin phrase meaning “incapable of evil”, a defence available to all children.  children under 14 years.
  • Immediately develop proactive initiatives that divert young people from crime before offending rather than relying on diversion programs after offending.
  • Immediately abandon the flawed Youth Justice Bill, which, if enacted, will increase the crime rate.

The ball is now squarely in the Government’s court, and a failure to act as outlined will condemn this government forever.

Break The Needle

Break The Needle

 This article gives an insight into the direction and traps in managing drug addiction.

 Canada has been the window to the future of the drug addiction problem in Australia. It has shown the world the contrasting outcome of pragmatic management as opposed to the id

We will bring you further articles authorised to be published by Break the Needle, giving a window into where the drug epidemic is headed and what works and what doesn’t. We would do well to note the Canadian experience.

We have our own conflicted approach, with one arm of the government expending vast resources trying to control the illicit drug trade and use, the Legal system and the Health system dealing with the consequences of use, while all the while the government is promoting and facilitating drug use, with the Drug Injecting Room and further promotion of safe drugs, the Pill Testing service.

Captured by the failed ‘Harm Minimisation’ fallacy, we can expect the next big thing will be an emphasis on ‘Safer Supply’. The toe is already in the door with Pill Testing.

 

Opioid seizures exploded by 3,000% in Ontario City after a “safer supply” experiment.

Doctors and journalists wondering why local police failed to disclose concerning statistics to the public sooner.

JUL 07, 2024

A London (Canada) police drug seizure in April included 9,298 Dilaudid eight-milligram tablets.

By Matthew Hannick

Nigel Stuckey saved more lives during the last five years of his policing career than the previous three decades combined. “Every time you go back to the street, it has a different flavour,” said Stuckey, a former sergeant with the London Police Service (LPS) who retired in 2022. “As a frontline police officer, you are constantly going to overdoses in the city. I’ve administered Narcan to multiple people, and this is just something that never existed before.”

Stuckey first noticed a dramatic increase in overdoses and drug-related crimes occurring throughout his city – London, Ontario – in 2019. While the reasons behind this increase were initially unclear, recent data released by the LPS suggest that “safer supply” programs may be contributing to the problem.

Safer supply programs aim to save lives by providing drug users with pharmaceutical-grade alternatives to the untested street supply. That typically means distributing hydromorphone, a heroin-strength opioid, as an alternative to illicit fentanyl. However, addiction experts say the program is having the opposite effect, as many people who are enrolled in safer supply programs are illegally selling or trading their prescribed hydromorphone on the black market, a practice known as “diversion.”

Harm reduction advocates claim that safer supply diversion is not a significant issue, but according to an investigation into London Police Services (LPS) seizure data by journalist Adam Zivo, the number of hydromorphone tablets seized in London increased by 3,000 per cent after access to safer supply was greatly expanded in 2020.

In 2019, the LPS seized fewer than 1,000 hydromorphone tablets. This number jumped significantly in 2020 and continued to rise afterwards, reaching 30,000 tablet seizures last year – an unprecedented amount. The London police estimate that last year’s record will be met or exceeded by the end of 2024.

Doctors have said that this is only representative of a small fraction of what is actually out there, and that just 3-4 of these pills, if snorted, are enough to induce an overdose in a new user.

Some people are wondering why this data wasn’t released months, if not years, earlier.

Dr. Sharon Koivu, a London-based addiction physician, was among the first to recognize the harms of safer supply and has been warning the public about widespread diversion for years. Based on her clinical experiences, she believes that diverted safer supply hydromorphone is causing new addictions and falling into the hands of youth.

When Koivu tried to speak out against safer supply and call attention to diversion and an overall lack of program transparency, she was bullied and told that the suffering she was witnessing didn’t exist. This harassment was so severe that her mental health deteriorated and she worried about whether her career had been irreversibly damaged – yet the London police had quietly possessed data showing that she was right all along.

“It’s become an ideological thing,” she said. “People seem to have doubled down on the information they have. They don’t want to hear from someone who has information and concerns that don’t align with their, I’m going to say, ideology – because it’s not science.”

News of skyrocketing hydromorphone seizures might have remained hidden from the public had it not been for a major bust earlier this year.

On April 12, the London police announced a drug seizure which included 9,298 hydromorphone eight-milligram tablets. When Zivo inquired into this seizure, he received no answers to his questions for almost two months. He says that he was “stonewalled” and that the police seemed unwilling to release key data until it became impossible for them not to.

Zivo found it particularly concerning that the 2019-2023 hydromorphone seizure data was not released earlier. “Journalists and addiction physicians have been trying to raise the alarm about this issue for years,” he said, “but have been called liars, grifters and fearmongers, despite the fact that data validating their concerns existed and was held by the London Police Service.”

Stuckey, who now works as a documentary filmmaker covering London’s homelessness, addiction and mental health crisis, had a similar experience when he queried the LPS about the 9,290 hydromorphone pills seized this April.

Despite multiple requests for information about a possible connection to safer supply, the police service did not get back to him. He expressed frustration at the police’s unresponsiveness and worried that a lack of government transparency is endangering both the general public and law enforcement officers.

“Members of the London Police Service are being put in harm’s way dealing with organized crime and firearms to take drugs off the street, which were provided by the federal government. It’s absolute lunacy that we are paying one branch of government to rid a problem that was created by another branch of government,” said Stuckey.

It would be deeply concerning if the LPS knowingly withheld data pertaining to safer supply diversion. Not only has the failure to publish such data hindered informed public debate and policy development, it has also compromised the safety of the very communities which police are tasked with protecting.

According to Zivo, safer supply programs have benefitted from the silence of powerful institutions like the LPS. He said that, as there seems to be significant institutional resistance to acknowledging the community harms of safer supply, then more attention and trust should be given to local grassroots-level addiction medicine practitioners “who are bravely testifying to what they are seeing in their clinics.”

However, Dr. Koivu thinks that “the tide is turning” and that more people are beginning to understand the harms of safer supply

“I think it’s unfortunate that this data wasn’t made available sooner, when it was relevant to the funding of these programs and the changes we’re seeing in the city. The police need to be accountable for that. I really don’t understand their rationale for not addressing this” she said. “They hung me out to dry while knowing that what I was saying was accurate. If the police are afraid to come forward, no wonder physicians are afraid to come forward, too.”

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.

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

WOKE JOKE MEETS REALITY SHOCK

Pic. courtesy Herald Sun

Victoria Police have been roundly and grossly unfairly criticised, as reported by ABC today, after a confidential briefing on Youth Gangs to the Justice Department policymakers in May of 2023, which the woke attendees attacked.

But this report based on FIO submissions says more about the ineptitude and professional incompetence of the woke complainers than an error of judgment by the Police.

Their primary beef was it was too graphic, showing real situations. Although all attendees were pre-warned that the content was graphic, many of the attendees did not like information that was not sugar-coated for their sensitivities.

See –

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-27/victoria-police-youth-crime-presentation-labelled-racist/103877374

The story relates to an attempt by VicPol to give ‘alleged’ professionals involved in the youth space a better understanding and insight into the problem they are dealing with. Decisions made in ignorance are never good.

This seminar was organised at the behest of Justice Department Juvenile Division members. It was attended by ‘dozens of staff’ from the Department and some from the Premier’s Department. Other stakeholders were also invited.

The conference lasted two and a half hours and featured actual CCTV footage of incidents involving youth gangs.

All invitees were informed by email the day before that the presentation would contain very graphic material that may be unpleasant to some. The email unambiguously read,

“graphic footage that some attendees may find confronting, and people might want to “excuse themselves” if they found it distressing.”.

The numerous complaints had one theme: denouncing their exposure to reality.

Among the complaints published by the ABC were,

  • Multiple staff said the warning was insufficient for what was shown,
  • One staff member said to put it “bluntly”, police “should have said ‘we are about to show you someone getting stabbed to death’.”
  • “Very graphic and violent footage” from a “range of serious violent incidents including stabbings and still images involving young people and adults allegedly involved both as victims and perpetrators”.
  • “Unclear purpose of showing [this] video is.”
  • While several people acknowledged the “traumatic experiences” officers faced and the need for policymakers to “understand the practical and operational realities” of frontline police work, they didn’t think the presentation helped achieve this. (Policy makers preferring to stay in ignorant bliss)
  • One person commented they were “disturbed” by “the casual way the violent imagery was discussed”, and another said the commentary was “upsetting … flippant, and racist in several points.”
  • “I question why the image of this person’s face was kept in the presentation.”
  • One staff member’s notes of the presentation said, “‘n-word’… completely gratuitous”, and the photos were “all POC [people of colour], no blurred faces”, including one of a “bloody wound to face” and one of someone “in a pool of blood.

Fancy the very people responsible for Youth Justice are grumpy because they have to confront what they are supposed to be doing as their day job: rein in Youth crime.

The next step is to arrange for these same people to be confronted by the victims of their failures. They can then explain to them why the offences happened.

This response from the people responsible for much of the failure of Youth Crime strategies demonstrates that most of them were at the conference to evaluate its wokeness rather than address the issues they were confronted with and employed to address. And their complaints to dehumanise the perpetrators by blocking their faces is puerile.

An advantage of taking the feigned or otherwise shock and horror and, heaven forbid, having to listen to emails read out sent by Gang members that contained the n-word, most probably by a coloured Gang member, is that they can absolve themselves from responsibility and remain in ignorant denial of reality.

This strategy of using the ‘woke outrage’ more and more to deflect the issue is to avoid having to respond or justify their performance. Create the diversion from their responsibility and prove how good they are by highlighting woke breaches.

This exposé has uncovered how out of touch the people responsible for youth policy are and why many of them must now reconsider their career options because it is evident by their admission that they are not competent to be employed in the field of Youth policy.

If they don’t voluntarily move, the administration must remove them for their own good. If action of that sort is not taken, it exposes the State to litigation from attendees who develop some disorder.

One of the most egregious alleged failings of VicPol was to refer to a 13-year-old as an offender for life. That outrage exposes the depth of incompetence these bureaucrats have.

A 13-year-old criminal is inevitably an offender for life unless held to account for their actions. That will be the inevitable outcome caused by the policy to lift the age of criminal responsibility, where there will be no sanctions or other intervention, albeit they knew full well their actions were criminal.

This outrage is more about the attendees being challenged about bad policy to lift the age of criminal responsibility.

We are outraged that while the policymakers want to lift the age of criminal responsibility, they have put forward no strategies or policy on what to do with violent underage perpetrators, a danger to the community and themselves.

Just letting them free to run amok again, as this policy dictates, is a disastrous outcome for the community and the child.

It would be interesting to see if these policymakers will ever be held to account for their failed policy; probably not, which is why they devise outrageous policies.

Instead of the policymakers trying to out ‘woke’ each other, how about they focus on the job at hand and find out more about what happens on the front line of Policing?

When they have done that, their policy machinations may be considered authentic.

It would be very interesting to know what these bureaucrats working in the government bubble have achieved that led to a reduction in youth crime and how many of them were required to achieve that outcome.

As to their bleating, this was not a public event, and the niceties dished out by the media do not apply—this was a reality and a professional life check.

The most disparaging aspect was that Deputy Commissioner Patterson apologised, and he should not have.

VicPol had nothing to apologise about; they did their job in the best interests of juvenile miscreants and the community.

They could have been rightly criticised if they attempted to sugarcoat the briefing.

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.