NSW Police use of Suspect Targeting Management Plan could meet ‘threshold for serious misconduct’

The Youth Justice Coalition noted on Monday that it has warned for more than five years that the STMP “not only pushes children into increased contact with the criminal justice system, but also that it is unreasonably oppressive, harassing, stigmatising and racially biased”.

The coalition includes the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the Shopfront Youth Legal Centre, Redfern Legal Centre and Dr Vicki Sentas from the Faculty of Law and Justice, University of New South Wales. They say the alternatives are clear: culturally appropriate, community-led diversion and early intervention programs.

PIAC chief executive Jonathon Hunyor described the report as a “bombshell”.

“Police have been exposed for acting unlawfully in their harassment of young people under the STMP,” he said.

“The LECC has concluded that Police ignored the complex needs of young people and used highly intrusive strategies that were unreasonable, unjust and oppressive.

“It is damning that Police took no steps to address the over-policing of Aboriginal young people under the STMP despite the LECC having highlighted this issue in their interim 2020 report.

“NSW Police needs to comprehensively re-set its approach to young people, with external input and oversight, to avoid a repeat of the failure and misconduct exposed by the LECC.”

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Towards Truth is a partnership between PIAC and UNSW Indigenous Law Centre.
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