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Penalties for underage criminals need to be harsher, teen Olivia tells Neil Mitchell

A former girlfriend of a teenage criminal says young offenders aren’t punished severely enough to learn from their mistakes.

Olivia, 17, told Neil Mitchell on Tuesday she recently dated a boy who frequently committed crimes like stealing cars.

She said when her ex-boyfriend was caught, he was locked up for just two weeks and the incarceration conditions were far too hospitable. 

‘They’ve got swimming pools there, PlayStations, Xbox’s, they’ve got iPads, there’s a lot of things there they can do in there,’ she said.

She went on to say that once he was released, he returned to his criminal activities, having not learned anything from his short stint behind bars.

‘I believe the penalty rate isn’t strong enough for kids, because a lot of crimes these days are being committed by people under the age of 18, especially cars and burglaries,’ Olivia said. 

‘A lot of the kids he was friends with, and that I used to associate with, when they got caught, they’d just come out and do it all again.

‘They don’t care.’

Olivia, who now works in mental healthcare, said she was once with her ex-boyfriend and his friends when they were caught stealing a bank card at a shopping centre. 

‘People stole a bank card and I was next to the person who was using the bank card.’

Olivia has lost contact with her former partner, but believes he is currently locked up in jail.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview on 3AW