Desperate appeal to Victoria teens amid state’s youth crime crisis

Desperate appeal to Victoria teens amid state’s youth crime crisis
Desperate appeal to Victoria teens amid state’s youth crime crisis

Teenagers in Victoria are being urged to report photos and videos of criminal activity they come across, in a bid to tackle youth crime in the state.

Kristy McSweeney, Managing Director of PR Counsel, said recidivism rates in youth crime are a cause for concern. It comes amid community concerns and national data showing the rise in Australian youth crime. “Not only is youth crime increasing, there are fewer unique offenders, but there is more crime,” Ms McSweeney told Sky News presenter Chris Kenny. “Which means core groups of kids are committing crime over and over again. “Whatever is happening, particularly in regional Australia … communities are fed up with the fact that whatever programs they are given are not working.”

Crime Stoppers Victoria launched its ‘share if you care’ campaign on Tuesday, calling on teenagers to hand in photos and videos of criminal activity.

Teenagers have been told they can provide information anonymously online through the Crime Stoppers website.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, the question is who are you protecting by not sharing what you know?” said Stella Smith, Chief Executive of Crime Stoppers Victoria.

“Young people can easily file an online report and share images and videos they already have on their phones. Online reporting also allows them to share content they may see on social media.

“Providing information to Crime Stoppers can make a big difference and potentially change the outcome of an investigation, even though the information remains unknown.”

The campaign was launched ahead of a youth justice summit held in Victoria amid outrage over the number of criminal acts committed by teenagers.

The opposition argues that the days of campaigns and talk shows are over and that the government should review bail laws and give the police more resources.

“The Allan Labor government has run out of ideas to solve the youth justice crisis,” said Shadow Youth Justice Minister Brad Battin.

“Instead of asking people to betray a partner, why doesn’t Jacinta Allan fix the bail law, fill the 1,000 vacancies on Victoria’s police rolls, reopen or reduce the opening hours of the 43 police stations she ‘temporarily’ closed, and return the $10 million-plus she saved on crime prevention?

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Shadow Minister for Youth Justice Brad Battin said the Allan Government had ideas to solve Victoria’s youth crime crisis. Photo: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw

“Victims of serious burglaries, violent attacks, knife crime or serious car crashes involving stolen cars driven by children don’t want a talk show, they need action to make the state safe again.”

Prime Minister Jacinta Allan said last month the government would introduce a “tough new regime” to tackle young people who repeatedly commit crimes.

Ms Allan said Victoria’s first standalone youth justice bill would “provide tougher sentences for serious, high-risk repeat offenders”.

The government has announced a two-year trial of electronic monitoring for young offenders released on bail, and new sentencing principles to prioritise victims

The electronic monitoring is being supplemented by what the government calls “intensified bail monitoring” to address the underlying causes of the offence.