While recognising there are problems with disaffected youth in Melbourne’s west, the Greens are calling for a more balanced approach in they way these issues are framed by certain media outlets and politicians.
According to the Crime Statistics Agency Victoria, the proportion of incidents committed by alleged offenders under the age of 25 has fallen from half of all incidents recorded in 2007-2008 to 40% of all incidents in 2015-2016.
Quotes attributable to acting leader of the Australian Greens, Rachel Siewert.
"Peter Dutton needs to stop playing politics, and realise that his role is to protect and welcome new members to our community – not to demonise them.
“Not only are his statements untrue, but they have the ability to cause real harm by alienating certain groups of young people.
“Rather than thinking about political gain, we need to think about what is best for our community, while working alongside community leaders and members as well as police and educators. Targeted and exaggerated accusations achieve nothing and only serve to be divisive."
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens deputy leader and spokesperson for youth justice, Nina Springle.
“Sensationalising and exaggerating the issue helps no one, especially when combined with the racist overtones coming from some prominent politicians. This is not only unacceptable, but likely to widen the divide between an already vulnerable group and the rest of the community.
“Every Victorian has a right to feel safe. In the short term, an ongoing strong police presence on the street, as well as highly supervised community orders for offenders, will help address these issues.
“While we recognise that avoiding jail terms is not always possible, this should be the goal. The last thing we want is to turn these young people into hardened criminals.
“Long term, we should be encouraging greater community participation and inclusion rather than promoting alienation and stigmatisation.”
Any further inquiries can be directed to Victorian Greens Youth Justice spokesperson Nina Springle.