Shadow Minister for Police and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today condemned the Brumby Government for its decade-long soft-on-crime approach which has caused a surge in youth crime.
“New figures revealed in the media today show the number of crimes committed by children under 14 years of age has risen by 32 per cent in the past four years,” Mr Ryan said.
“Every day in Victoria 45 school children are being questioned by police while Victoria Police Crime Statistics show children under the age of 14 were responsible for 11,000 offences in 2008-2009.
“During the same time 41,000 offences were committed by 15 to 19 year olds.
“In March, John Brumby boasted about new measures which included knife laws prohibiting minors from legally buying a controlled weapon.
“This announcement comes ten years after former Police Minister Andre Haermeyer promised that Labor’s Control of Weapons Bill would ‘restrict the sale of knives to people under 18 years’.
“Is it any wonder children have become increasingly violent when this government is not serious about delivering on its promise to tackle juvenile crime?
“The growing number of youth offences in Victoria has exposed John Brumby’s failure to address rising levels of crime and violence,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said a Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government was committed to measures to deter youth violence in Victoria, including ensuring a knife amnesty program was extended and promoted in schools.
“Victoria’s spiralling rate of crime and violence is a whole-of-life issue that requires leadership and support which will only be delivered by a Coalition Government.”