Lower crimes in Australian state

April 9, 2015 12:31 pm 

MELBOURNE, April 9 — The number of young adults committing crimes in Australian state of Victoria has lowered drastically, statistics released by the Sentencing Advisory Council suggested Thursday.

The statistics said that the number of people aged between 18 and 24 that were being sentenced dropped by 26.4 percent across all Victorian courts between 2009 and 2014.

This was partly due to police being more lenient to young people regarding some crimes and with more warnings being handed out for offenses such as possession of cannabis.

Cautions issued to young adults in the same time period had risen 31 percent, but the number of young offenders detained by police dropped 5 percent.

Sentencing Advisory Council chairman Professor Arie Frieberg said that similar trends were also seen around the country, so it wasn't just merciful policing but a change of attitude towards illegal practice from young people.

"The trend being observed in Victoria is consistent with broader trends around Australia indicating that it is not simply the result of a change in policing practice," he told Fairfax Media on Thursday.

The study also illustrated a dramatic drop in the number of juvenile offenders, with 39 percent fewer young people being sentenced over the same five-year period between 2009 and 2014.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police said that by managing police units better and increasing the number of warnings handed out for minor breaches, young people tend not to risk a second offense.

"Putting people before the court is not always the best use of our time, nor the best outcome for the offender," the spokesperson told Fairfax Media on Thursday.

"Getting people appropriate treatment is important and, anecdotally, once people have been issued with (something like a) cannabis caution, we don't tend to encounter them again for the same offenses."

The study also found that young people were binge drinking less, smoking less and using illicit substances less than those in the same age bracket five years ago.(PNA/Xinhua)

FFC/PJN

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