2nd March 2023
Interesting to see what happens, now that the idea of raising the age of criminal intent to fourteen years is facing scrutiny, even before it is introduced.
An idea that sounds wonderful in theory but fails the young people it seeks to benefit.
As reported on the 24th of February 2023 by the Herald Sun, a group of young offenders have been arrested, including boys under fourteen.
A 13-year-old faces nine charges, including attempted aggravated burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, affray, unlawful assault, burglary, theft, robbery, failure to answer Bail and committing an indictable offence while on Bail.
A 12-year-old boy is facing charges including theft of a motor vehicle, affray, robbery, shop theft, and committing an indictable offence while on Bail.
These are not isolated incidents and happen all too frequently.
The questions we have for the Premier are –
- How will you deal with young violent thugs when you lift the age to fourteen? Will Police have no power to arrest once their age is established?
- Having established their age, then what do the Police do with them? Put them back on the street to offend again?
- What happens to the Police Cautioning Program that has served the State so well and is by far and away the most used and effective sanction when Police deal with young offenders? The caution will no longer be able to be offered in lieu of prosecution.
- What are you going to tell the Victims – the offences committed by these young thugs hurt the Victim just as much, irrespective of the age of the perpetrator? Just because they were assaulted by a twelve-year-old, the damage is no less painful.
- And what happens to the young perpetrator that will dissuade them from offending again?
- What liability does the State carry for a failure to ensure the safety of the young perpetrators? It would seem a lot. There would be a ‘hue and cry’ if a young penetrator was seriously injured while committing a crime where the State failed, in their duty of care, to intervene in the childs criminal endeavours.
- What protection is offered to victims of violent sex offenders in this cohort?
- And of greatest concern is what happens when a young person in this cohort commits murder. It can and does happen.
- If a young person is accused of a serious crime, that accusation may not leave them, which is particularly brutal if the child is innocent.
- How do you propose to teach young people that there are consequences for unlawful acts?
The argument for the necessity of this move is not based on facts and will eliminate the option for a Police caution for children under fourteen.
“Of 5981 young people alleged to have committed an offence 56% received a caution, 45% were charged.
Consistent with the findings of previous studies, young people who were cautioned were less likely to re-offend than those charged. The current study also found a longer duration between the index incident and their first reoffending incident for cautioned young people as opposed to those charged.”
This government proposal has been suggested by people with little or no idea of the psyche of young people of this age.
- If arrested, being sent home will be interpreted as, winning and beating the system.
- Time for young people is now; no matter what they are told, if intercepted by the Police, they will immediately return to the social set that got them into criminality. (One of the great advantages leading to the success of the Police Cautioning Program is that it can be delivered in close time proximity to the offending, having a greater impact than a Court case some many months after the event from which the child has long moved on both in maturity and socially.)
- These same young people are hazardous to the community because they have no concept of the consequences of their actions on victims.
- The concept of Bail is also seen as them beating the system. They do not ignore the Bail but do not grasp what it means.
What is very obviously deficient in this proposal is what it intends to achieve.
Called progressive socialism, it is a concept heavy on the narrow emotive argument, a subjective bias of the perpetrator’s age, and sadly lacking in effectiveness.
Premier, if you want community support, please explain how you will reduce the suffering of Victims and how this proposal will benefit young people and steer them from a life of crime.
Avoiding consequences at that age, will instead ensure they become entrenched in a life of crime.
One certainly can see the concern the over all community must have, this is a very serious problem, however unless we as a whole we start to work on the causes of these situations, why children of these age groups are offending ? What problems are children having, at home, school, work, social activities to name a few, issues that create the pain and anger, perhaps sadness whatever the circumstance causes are the only thing to look at for any chance to make change possible, scare tactics, age brackets etc. have not worked in the past and those sort of changes do absolutely nothing and will not implement any change. Is not the main concern the welfare of our children the most important aspect to bring about change?
There has to be consequences for the young perpetrators. Some sort of disciplinary action and mentoring program. Parents should participate at some level also.
And, we would no doubt expect that if you scratch the surface of many of these crimes, you’ll find substance use of some sort in the mix – legal or illicit. Whilst, we cannot lay blame at the feet of substance use, it is an ‘accelerant’ of many community and familial harms.
The ever increasing ‘normalisation’ of drug use via tacit ‘permission models’ and the growing lack of enforcement of current protective legislation, only increase demand for said substances – The addiction for profit sector (legal and illegal) trade in this misery, and at the expense of family and community health and safety.
As with the decline over the last 50 years in ethical standards and quality standards, the decline of youth futures has been dictated over and hijacked, stolen if you will, by a small group of warped and grotesque thinkers, unbalanced and viciously self absorbed and so stupendously self opinionated as to believe they have priority over all things, not excluding the natural order as well, with family bonds and values additional, by enforcing upon us skeletonized information masquerading as knowledge or removing worthy education to be mostly replaced by unsuitable for real world use models of fundamentally indoctrination, inflicted upon poor innocent small souls, even though fabulously capable and talented, dare we say, highly useful and productive adults were produced for millenia by the previously unmolested system where common sense and values for others and logic was the stable framework futures were built on. Now however, where theft or draconian control of all things by the current pirates is to be the norm and having taken by many unscrupulous ways everything not nailed down as well as nailed down, it must make perfect sense to such minds to make camouflage by destruction to help cover up all these dirty deeds, to better continue their cultural terrorism. Destroy the capabilities of the next generation to intelligently make their own way and if you’re a self centred parasite such as we note in power in Victoria currently, then you have just made a nice easy future for yourself and to hell with anyone elses.
This Government is led by IDIOTS. Why lower the age, it does not excuse the offense. These young thugs must be taught a lesson. Why not introduce a Military style camp to instill self-discipline into them and make them better citizens? If they misbehave at these camps they should be held in a Military prison, where, they will find out what it is like to be locked up. Not the mamby pamby, treatment they receive from this Government
Bring back the Bodgie Squad of the past, they sorted out the street thugs and very few returned to reoffend…..