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New approach to youth crime needed – Butler

Local State MP Roy Butler says a new approach to youth crime is needed. Photo TWH

Bourke is the crime hotspot of the Barwon electorate and needs a new approach to youth offending, according to independent state MP Roy Butler.

Mr Butler was in the electorate last week and met with senior police, law enforcement and representatives of the Children’s Court in Bourke to understand the scope of the problem facing the town.

“The issue of youth crime in the Barwon electorate is always a concern, but nothing of the magnitude of Bourke,” Mr Butler said.

“There is no doubt that there is a problem, and we need to do something, and we can’t continue the cycle of bailing and having them re-offend.

“For young people committing minor offences or starting out on the wrong path, we don’t want to see them go straight into juvenile detention, gaining new tricks and anti-social beliefs, we must do something else to address this re-offending behaviour.

“But there are several groups of people getting involved in crime, attacking elderly people, stealing their cars, and burning them,” Mr Butler said.

“During my time in Bourke this week, in one night there were three incidents and these were home invasions.

“These crimes are affecting people’s lives and creating fear. It’s costing the community financially because when a car is stolen or burnt out some people don’t have insurance or recourse and that causes trauma and fear, and it puts up the insurance premiums for everyone else, so it has a knock-on effect. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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