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Member for Barwon Roy Butler. Photo TWH

A $26.2 million package of reforms focussing on regional crime was announced by the NSW Government last week, receiving conditional support from the New South Wales Country Mayors Association (CMA) and outright criticism from MP for Barwon, Roy Butler.

Data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows that crime rates in regional NSW remain higher than in metro areas. Added to this, the Government say that there are also reports of an emerging phenomenon of offenders posting recordings of their offending behaviour on social media, particularly in relation to motor vehicle offending.

There are concerns that this type of “performance crime” may encourage others, specifically young people, to engage in similar criminal behaviour.

“Imprisoning children who commit minor offences often leads to them becoming repeat offenders”.– Member for Barwon Roy Butler

There are three key elements to the new reforms.

Firstly, the NSW Government will introduce legislative changes to strengthen bail laws. This includes amending the Bail Act 2013 to include a temporary additional bail test for young people between 14 and 18 charged with committing certain serious break and enter offences or motor vehicle theft offences while on bail for the same offences.

A new offence for “posting and boasting” about crimes will include imposing an additional penalty of two years’ imprisonment for people who commit motor vehicle theft or break and enter offences and share material to advertise their involvement in this criminal behaviour. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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