Victorians must respect bail laws to tackle crime - HERALD SUN

Written on the 21 July 2016

Victorians must respect bail laws to tackle crime - HERALD SUN

Victorians must respect laws, including bail laws to tackle crime - HERALD SUN

 

EDITORIAL OPINION - HERALD SUN - 5 MAY 2016

BY GEORGIE CROZIER


During the last few months, Victorians have witnessed too many horrifying attacks by violent gangs.

Perhaps most worrying of all, these gang attacks aren't just occurring in the city, but they are happening to people within their homes.
Adequate resourcing of police is a big part of stopping these violent gangs. But this isn't the only thing, there also needs to be respect for the law if we are to tackle the causes of crime in our community.

Telling a 17 year old Apex gang member who faces charges for a terrifying and violent home invasion that complying with bail is optional, is the worst possible thing a government could do.
It removes a vital deterrent to breaching bail and leaves law abiding citizens exposed to the potentially harmful consequences.

That is why Daniel Andrews' decision to weaken the law and remove breaching bail as an offence is so wrong.
The Andrews Government has now repealed the Liberal Nationals' 2013 changes to bail that made it a criminal offence for anyone, regardless of age, to breach any condition of bail.

Of course this is at odds with what the Andrews Government says it wants to do, reduce gang attacks on our streets. That's why the Liberal Nationals opposed these changes in the Parliament.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the Andrews Government persisted.

Why?

Because it has an ideological soft on crime approach.

We all want to see a reduction in youth crime and youth incarceration. But we want to actually reduce crime in our community, not just lower statistics on a piece of paper.
Sure, you can lower crime rates if you abolish offences, like Daniel Andrews has tried to do here, but that won't make us safer or build respect for the law and human life.

The police and courts must have the capacity to keep serious young offenders in custody to prevent them from committing further crimes.
The former Liberal Nationals Government introduced a range of reforms to give young offenders a second chance at productive, law abiding lives.

After all, young people have their lives ahead of them and the last thing we want to see is young people in the justice system for decades to come.
That is why the Liberal Nationals developed a school at the Melbourne Youth Justice Facility so that an education could continue and skills could be developed for young offenders.

We also created diversion programs for young offenders where community safety was not at risk.
These programs can give young offenders the tools to lead productive lives and an opportunity to understand the consequences of committing serious crimes.

However, there comes a point where the safety of the community cannot be compromised and young offenders who defy the law need to be kept in custody for the protection of our community.
For those who are on bail, they must comply with the conditions set or face the consequences.

We are currently seeing a spate of lawlessness and serious criminal behaviour from young offenders like we have never seen before.
With serious and violent crimes taking place such as car-jackings, home invasions, riots in the streets and threats to the community with weapons, Daniel Andrews has sent the wrong message to young offenders that breaching their bail doesn't have serious consequences.

These are serious, damaging and potentially deadly crimes by gangs of youths. Large parts of our community no longer feel safe and Victorians are becoming increasingly alarmed by the brazen violence taking place.
The police have limited ability to address the rising crime rates and dealing with the out of control gang activity.

On a daily basis, the police are dealing with the reality of having young criminals repeatedly breaching their bail and reoffending.

By weakening these bail laws, serious and potentially violent young offenders will be free to roam our streets, and continue to put our Victorian community at further risk.


Georgie Crozier MP is opposition spokeswoman for families and children, Prevention of Family Violence and Women. Ms Crozier says, Victorians are alarmed by the brazen violence taking place.


The link to the HERALD SUN article is HERE

 


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