‘Consequences’ for crime necessary, but not tougher bail laws: Gunner

by | Feb 13, 2021 | News | 1 comment

Chief Minister Michael Gunner took Territorians through a confusing explanation of his government’s plan to tackle ongoing crime issues on Friday, saying consequences are necessary to punish crime but that making it tougher to get bail shouldn’t be one of those consequences.

Mr Gunner has been under mounting pressure to address a wave of crime in Alice Springs and across Darwin in recent weeks, with the CLP Opposition pointing to changes his government made to bail laws last year as a major contributor to the problems.

He has so far resisted proposing any changes to bail laws.

Responding to a question at a press conference about what evidence he has that his government’s bail law changes have been successful, Mr Gunner did not directly answer the question.

“Bail only occurs after a crime has occurred,” Mr Gunner said. “Bail is not the cause of crime, bail is the result of a crime.

“We’re gonna do anything we can to stop the crime occurring in the first place. And if a crime does occur, we’ll make sure there’s a genuinely meaningful consequence in place.”

He then pointed to “alternative sentencing programs” that he said have been working, but provided no details.

“Bail only happens prior to that consequence kicking in – it is the consequences that break the cycle,” Mr Gunner said.

“Bail is just a brief moment in time before the consequence kicks in.”

But the government’s own figures show that in that “brief moment in time” – when repeat offenders are on bail – more than half of those are re-offending.

Last March, the Gunner Government removed breach of bail for young offenders as a criminal offence, following recommendations by the royal commission into youth detention.

They also instituted the presumption of bail to favour releasing young offenders instead of keeping them in detention after committing an offence.

The CLP Opposition has repeatedly called on Mr Gunner to reform bail laws which they say will help reduce the current crime wave across the NT and could stop those who committed a crime from committing another while on bail.

“The Chief Minister is clearly confused by his own bail laws,” said CLP Member for Braitling and Territory Families critic Josh Burgoyne.
“The Chief Minister is causing crime through the repeat offenders he allows back into the community on bail while removing repercussions for breaching bail.”

Alice Springs ‘simmering’ as Chief Minister fed ‘bullshit’ from public servants: business owner Darren Clark

Police Minister Nicole Manison flew to Alice Springs this week to reiterate Mr Gunner’s message that bail was working – pointing to 30 kids currently on remand – and that the government was more focused on “preventing crime”, but offering no hard examples of how they propose to do that.

Mr Burgoyne said the spike in crime in Alice Springs coincided with changes to the bail laws and the government was failing to acknowledge that.

On Thursday, Alice Springs business owner and administrator of the Action for Alice community Facebook page Darren Clark said Alice residents don’t believe the Chief Minister is being briefed properly on the extent of the ongoing crime problems in the town that has repeatedly been described as “under siege”.

He also pointed the finger at Mr Burgoyne for not being around during a spate of crime over Christmas and not doing enough as the local MLA.

“We’re fed up with the bullshit,” he told Mix 104.9. “We’re fed up being told bullshit and it’s time – it’s time everyone – you’re getting paid guys, you’re getting paid by the public. Pull your heads in! This place is simmering.

“Let’s cut to the chase. They’ve all left it too long. The Department of Education doesn’t talk to Territory Families, Territory Families don’t feed information to the Police. How are you gonna fix it?

“Why aren’t Territory Families and all these youth services driving around in these vans every bloody night, why aren’t they getting up and having conversations?

“I’m passionate about this bloody issue. I’ve watched these services, they drive past the kids, they don’t even get out of the bloody van.”

Mr Clark said Mr Gunner was ignorant of the reality in Alice Springs, despite his claims that he has been “on patrol” with public servants on visits to town.

“They feed him bullshit,” he said.

(Visited 1,311 times, 1 visits today)

Ads by Google

Ads by Google

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense

Adsense