The Victorian Greens have warned the Victorian Labor Government against giving Victoria Police additional powers to detain children when the age of criminal responsibility is lifted.
The Greens say young people should be kept out of the criminal justice system for as long as possible to prevent them getting into a career of reoffending.
Earlier this year the Victorian Government flagged its intention to raise the age of criminal responsibility in the state to 12, and then 14 by 2027.
This timid, politicised decision already ignored what First Nations communities and experts had been calling for for decades, which was to lift the age to 14 immediately.
And now, police chief Shane Patton has said he wants his members to have the power to detain children as young as 10 when the age of criminal responsibility is lifted to 14.
However, the Greens say this would undercut the purpose of raising the age in the first place and potentially set young children up on a lifelong path in the criminal justice system.
Quotes attributable to Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Dr Tim Read:
“We need to keep young children out of the criminal justice system, as this is often the last chance we have to stop them getting into a career of reoffending.
“Aboriginal children account for almost 65 per cent of young people behind bars around Australia. It is more than time we changed that.
“That’s why the Victorian Government mustn’t give Victoria Police any additional powers to detain young children when the age of criminal responsibility is lifted.
“It would undercut the purpose of raising the age and set young children up on a lifelong path in the criminal justice system.”