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Deputy Commissioner admits Victoria is not winning youth crime fight

(Image: Victoria Police)

Youth offences in Victoria have risen by almost nine per cent, and one of the state’s highest-ranking police officers admits we’re not winning the fight against juvenile crime.

In the 12 months to the end of June, there were 19,783 alleged offender incidents among 10 to 17-year-olds, up from 18,150 last year, with increases across all offence categories.

Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent admits Victoria is not winning the battle against youth crime.

NEIL MITCHELL: “I talked to Graham Ashton about this years ago, the fight against juvenile crime, we’re not winning?”

RICK NUGENT: “No. We’ve seen an increase there and this is related to some of this gang related activity and sort of networked groups of youths doing some of this.”

In the 12 months to the end of June, more than half of all robbery offenders were aged 10 to 17.

Mr Nugent said police have identified 42 youth gangs which they “know are causing harm”.

“They’re into the car thefts, the aggravated burglaries, the home invasions, the robberies, the assaults,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“They’re moving a lot more across areas now than they used to.”

This week, Victoria Police launched Operation Alliance, a statewide anti-gang strategy to target the changing face of youth gang crime.

“This is going to be right across the state, actually mapping and understanding which groups, which gangs, are causing harm and doing everything possible to prevent and disrupt and dismantle those gangs.”

Overall, Victoria’s offence rate was up by 6 per cent in the year to the end of June, compared with the previous period.

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