Graffiti, property damage and theft – kids smoking & drinking on suburban crime spree

Sunday 05 May, 2024

The Opposition is once again calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to prioritise the fight against rising crime rates by immediately offering incentives to new police recruits while petty criminals take advantage of SAPOL’s diminishing resources.

A new wave of youth crime – backed by Australian Bureau of Statistics data – is sweeping across the state, compromising community safety, and plaguing small businesses who are powerless to intervene.

CCTV vision highlights senseless attacks – by young offenders – on a small business in Campbelltown which occurred on multiple occasions. Separate video also shows another incident of theft from the shop.

New Australian Bureau of Statistics of recorded Crime shows a 12.6 per cent increase in youth crime between 2021/22 and 2022/23. A youth is a person aged from 10-17.

In the 2022/23 financial year, those caught committing crimes varied in ages from:

  • 10–11 years    52 youths
  • 12–13 years    397 youths
  • 14–17 years    1,745 youths

Shadow Minister for Police, Corrections and Community Safety, Sam Telfer, said SAPOL’s attrition rate is enabling criminals.

“Peter Malinauskas needs to get his head in the game and put incentives on the table to lure new police recruits that South Australia is crying out for,” Mr Telfer said.

“More police officers are abandoning the force than are being recruited. This means officers still working the frontline are being forced to do more with much less and it is a huge load to carry for those men and women.

“Queensland has almost 2000 people in the police recruitment process while in South Australia, we have been told at times, there are two patrols covering a whole district which is outrageous and dangerous.”

Shadow Attorney-General, Josh Teague, called on Peter Malinauskas to swallow his pride and finally launch a review of penalties and breach of bail.

“Youth crime is exploding and it is unacceptable,” Mr Teague said.

“We know youths who commit crime are far more likely to adopt the same destructive behaviour when they’re adults.

“Peter Malinauskas must launch a review into breach of bail because these youth offenders are being caught and released back onto the street repeatedly. And at what point do we acknowledge this system is failing.”

Member for Hartley, Vincent Tarzia, said the fight against crime must be a priority for Peter Malinauskas.

“We have good and hardworking people here in Hartley but right now many don’t feel safe,” Mr Tarzia said.

“In this suburb alone, there were nine instances of property damage, according to the latest SAPOL crime statistics from February.

“The people of my community want to feel safe – they want to feel protected. To do that we need more police resources on the ground to boost presence and deter crime.

“We need to see incentives on the table for new police recruits so we can build our frontline SAPOL force.”