Sunday, June 23, 2024

Police furor as 12-year-old charged with 80 crimes is released on bail

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The head of a peak police advocacy body in NSW has claimed the judicial system is “out of touch with community expectations” after news emerged that a 12-year-old boy charged with 80 criminal charges had been released on bail.

NSW Police Association president Kevin Morton said officers in Dubbo approached him about the child, feeling they had exhausted their own capabilities.

“They are frustrated at seeing the revolving door that this young person has seen every time he’s brought into custody,” Morton said.

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NSW Police Association president Kevin Morton said the judicial system was out of touch with what our communities want. (Nine)

“They’re invested in those communities and it’s really frustrating and demoralising for them when they see members of that community affected by someone that they put before court yesterday, continuing to commit crimes.”

The boy, who cannot be identified due to his age, has been charged with offences including breaking into homes and undertaking high-speed police chases in stolen vehicles.

“He continually offends, our police do a great job, they investigate, they arrest him, they bring him before the courts and he’s released,” Morton said.

“That’s their fear, [that] if it continues someone will be seriously injured, if not lose their life.

“We really need to look at breaking this cycle at what this young person’s involved in.”

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The former police officer said members of the NSW Police Association have “had enough” of bail decisions in their current state. (Nine)

Morton, who was a police officer for more than 30 years, believes diversionary programs could be the missing link to breaking that cycle.

“That costs money, but this government needs to look at it from that perspective to break that cycle and get him out of it,” he said.

“We’ve gotta break that cycle with these people that think … that they can be granted bail and go out and continue to commit crimes against their communities.”

He said the judicial system seemed “out of touch with what our communities want”.

“Our magistrates and our judges that are making these bail determinations need to have a look at the determinations they are making, because I think they’re out of touch with community expectations,” Morton said.

“These are the sort of decisions, these bail decisions that are occurring all across the state and our members have had enough.

“And it’s not only bail decisions, it’s sentencing decisions that they’re making that don’t seem to reflect the severity of what they’re doing and the harm that they’re committing against the community.”

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