Backlash over Aboriginal Juvenile Crime Rates

Graeme Powell, ABC News, October 3, 2011

The head of the Aboriginal Legal Service has accused the WA Police Commissioner of inciting racial hatred after he spoke out about the high rate of Aboriginal juveniles involved in home burglaries.

The Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has released figures showing juvenile crime is spiralling upwards and 50 per cent of burglaries are committed by people 18 or under.

He says what is more alarming is that Aboriginal youths represent 61 per cent of those juveniles.

“Given that Aboriginal people make up about two per cent of our population in Western Australia that is a staggering over-representation in that age group and we have to stop that from occurring,” he said.

The ALS CEO Dennis Eggington has questioned the Commissioner’s timing in releasing the figures.

“The talkback radio at the moment is full of people blaming Aboriginal people for this issue, really blaming Aboriginal families and Aboriginal parents and that’s what he’s created,” he said.

“He’s vilifying us again and whether he meant to do it or not, that’s what’s happening.

“He’s inciting people to racial hatred.”

Mr O’Callaghan described the issue as “the elephant in the room” which no-one wants to talk about publicly and he defended his decision to speak out.

“For a long time we’ve been very reluctant to talk about it openly because we’re always worried about offending somebody,” he said.

Recidivism

The Commissioner says more needs to be done to rehabilitate Aboriginal juveniles in detention.

“Let me give you some recidivism rates–64 per cent of juveniles in custody are Aboriginal and of that 50 per cent of them reoffend very shortly after being released,” he said.

“So it sort of tells that they’re not getting rehabilitation.”

The state’s Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Peter Collier, has described Karl O’Callaghan’s comments as fair and brutally honest.

“Karl O’Callaghan was brutally frank and he didn’t say something that wasn’t correct,” he said.

“There’s a disproportionate number of Aboriginal males that are actually in the juvenile justice system and what we’ve got to do as a government is do something about it.

“Not play the blame game but actually do something about it and that’s what we’re doing.”

Not working

Mr Eggington says the figures show tough law and order policies are not working.

He says WA has some of the toughest juvenile laws in the country but the Government needs to invest more in prevention and intervention programs.

“I think there are two things that are really worrying about those statistics,” he said.

“One is most definitely the fact that our tougher laws on young people, our Young Offenders act and the types of cries that we’ve heard lately for tougher anti-social laws and tougher laws on offenders haven’t worked.

“We need an alternative to that, and I think there is an alternative, I think preventative and intervention programmes now have to be a major part of our law and order policies in WA.

“That could include things like therapeutic jurisprudence, problem solving courts, and of course justice reinvestment to help break those cycles.

“If we do that then we have to invest pretty heavily in the bottom end of it and not so much in the imprisonment of these people.”

Mr Collier says the Government is taking action.

“We need to send an unambiguous message to Aboriginal students in our schools and post-school, that they can make a valuable contribution to the community, and also as individuals they can actually open doors that will be lifelong,” he said.

“Employment opportunities are the best way to change the lifestyle of young Aboriginal males and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Investment

The state Opposition Leader Eric Ripper says more investment is needed in services for Aboriginal mothers and young children.

“It’s a long term pay-off, sometimes it takes 10 to 15 years before you see the results of that,” he said.

“We also need to have investment in broken communities, we know the communities which are broken, we know the communities which are producing the crime.

“We need to intervene in those communities with preventative measures.”

Mr Eggington says intervention is needed.

“We do want a safer community and I think we deserve that and the only way we can get that is making sure that we heal these young people, stop them offending and get them back as responsible citizens,” he said.

He says the second thing which is of real concern is that there seems to be a complete failure in Aboriginal communities in the social policies that Government have adopted.

“Our kids are born into a world where they are not to offend but the social circumstance, the causal pathways that lead them into offending are well and truly entrenched,” he said.

“It’s an indictment on this state, and it’s an indictment on all of us in some ways, that we’ve allowed this to happen.

“I’m pleading with the community to say enough’s enough, we want our first nation’s peoples to be a part of this community.

“We don’t want to see what’s happening and Government should get in and do something about it with the help of the community.”

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    Something tells me if they were more concerned about crimes by aboriginal instead there would be a lot less of it. That would make too much sense I guess.

  • Anonymous

    Up in Canada, there is a reserve known as the Six Nations.

    Native youth originating from there have been stealing thousands of cars, from hotels, train stations and other spots from across Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe area which extends to the U.S. border. The stolen vehicles are most commonly dumped in the woods on the reserve at night, stripped of valuable parts.

    Between 2004 to 2006, more than 1,200 vehicles, with an estimated value of $33-million, were hauled away from the reserve. In 2007, at least 578 were recovered.

  • Jeddermann.

    “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” – – Orwell.

    George did know what he was talking about, didn’t he?

  • Jeddermann.

    And what percentage of those homes being broken into are the homes of a whitey? I would bet a very high percentage of them.

    Maybe someone in WA [Western Australia] knows something about this?

  • A Comment from Australia

    When I was much younger my feelings for Aboriginal people were those of sadness and sorrow and why can’t they share some of the wealth and the good things that this country has to offer and why are they picked on all the time by the police.

    Two or 3 generations later on I still have the same feelings about Aboriginal people but I also have contempt for the whole “Aboriginal Industry”. This includes Politicians, do-gooders and part-aboriginal activists. Despite land rights (Aboriginals own huge areas of Australia), mining royalties, Social Welfare, AA policies for health, education and training jobs, as well as the spending of millions of dollars of tax dollars most Aboriginals still live in sub-3rd world squalor.

    The original article just repeats the same old line, namely that the Government must do something about it. But what can the government do exactly? Nothing seems to work.

    Presently the Federal Government has an intervention program where wefare payments are restricted to food and clothing vouchers and only paid if children attend school with tight controls on Alcohol availability. This program only seems to have very limited success and the do-gooders are describing it as paternalistic and an attack on human rights! It is like every other program, just doomed to failure.

    Perhaps the only way for the Aboriginals to be helped is for them to want to help themselves. They feel that the white man stole their land and are taught to hate everything that is associated with white society, this includes white man’s education and property. I have seen towns in western NSW where Aboriginal youths have just destroyed the townscape, graffiti, vandalism, shop windows smashed and at Bourke they even torched the local supermarket. In one town they built a toilet block for the local aboriginal camp, it was just destroyed. Wefare housing when provided is also just destroyed. These towns are a total no-go areas for whites after dark. How can you help these people?

    The Aboriginal race needs to stop resenting white society and realise that they themselves if they want to, can start to be part of a modern prosperous nation. Aboriginal life prior to the arrival of the white man was not some utopian paradise, anything but, it was a very miserable life, diease, malnutrition intertribal fighting and a very low life expectancy.

    Some years ago Aboriginals could be gainfully employed as stockmen but when they had to be paid full wages it became more economical for land owners to hire white stockmen and even employ helicopter pilots for the cattle round-up. A side effect of equal pay for Aboriginals was that most other agricultural jobs (for Aboriginals) disappeared and welfare dependency took over.

    As for Aboriginal health, it has often been said that the simple use of some soap and water and to shoot all the stray dogs in their camps would be a very good start.

    Education & AA jobs, first thing is to stop the money and training jobs from going to “white” aboriginals. The next thing is to realise that you can not educate (99.9% of) stone age tribesmen/women or their children to university level or even as a motor mechanic, electrical fitter or nursing sister. But something must be done so, has anyone out there got any ideas? I think a lot more understanding from both sides is required or do we just let them live in their own primative society “Brave New World” style?

  • Greg Deane

    Of course the only viable solution is to spend more money and hope for a happy outcome in 10-15 years time, according to Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Peter Collier. The state budget is already disproportionately geared to funding special projects for aborigines. The Aboriginal Legal Service CEO Dennis Eggington decries ‘vilification’ of aborigines and blames Commissioner O’Callaghan for stirring aboriginal hatred and ‘racism’; but the only reason he hasn’t been pilloried and dismissed from office is because what he says is irrefutable. Even a court made up of feminist environmentalist who insist on the strength of diversity in multiculturalism could not find the Commissioner guilty of dissemination of misinformation. But the solution is not intervention or more programmes that would be condemned as patriarchy. The only workable solution is segregation so that these youths do not have access to the homes they burgle or the victims they select because of their race; because they are white.

  • Anthony

    This is the standard response for this professional abo and his colleagues every time that someone dares to even hint at the truth. Billions upon billions have been spent following the suggestions that ‘more needs to be done’ and achieving absolutely nothing. And nothing ever will be achieved, because the reality is that aborigines are the most primitive people on earth, and european principles are simply alien to them. 50,000 years, undisturbed on this huge land mass, and their sole achievement was inventing a stick – and somehow the leftists find a way to believe that they are ‘just the same as us, but with black skin’

    You guys thought blacks of african descent were bad? They’ve got nothing on abos – they have to be seen to be believed.

  • neanderthalDNA

    Well gee! They have an IQ lower than subsaharan blacks, they commit crime like blacks and depend on white charity like blacks.

    My opinion of these guys is kind of an obverse of Jared Taylor’s comment about Jewish whiteness…

    They look black to me.

  • Question Diversity

    Related news:

    http://goo.gl/F8S1X

    In reaction to the Bolt verdict, the Australian Federal government is looking to adopt an American style Bill of Rights. Amazingly, the left-wing majority government in Parliament, the left-wing Australian Labour Party, wants it, and the opposition Liberal-National coalition is opposed. I never trusted Tony Abbott any further than I ever threw him, and since I have never been to Australia, that tells you how far I have thrown him. He’s the one who tried to railroad Pauline Hanson into prison.

    7 Anthony: I might be wrong, but it is my understanding that the Australian Aboriginals were one of the few sorts of people on Earth who never came to the realization on their own that human sexuality and female pregnancy are related.

  • Anonymous

    You know, all this bleeding heart crap about Aboriginals is going to be totally silenced in the explosion of violence and mayhem with the economic crash. No one is going to give a hoot about them, or blacks, or mestizos, or anyone.

    Or, if we’re lucky, there won’t be a total crash. But even then, the days of pandering are already essentially over.

    These are the last gasps of multiculturalism.

    Haven’t any of the readers here sensed the desperation in the brown camps?

    Haven’t you seen the helplessness of white marxists?

    Step up and seize the day. You had better see the opportunity for what it is. it won’t last.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see any solution to the issues related to the Aboriginees. They have very low I.Q.’s and a stone age culture. They have fallen into a slew of pathologies. Australia has invested (or wasted) billions of dollars on them. A lot of very well meaning white Australians have tried very hard to help them. Nothing seems to work. Australia has developed an Aboriginee version of our military-industrial complex – an Aboriginee-industrial complex if you will. Hundreds of years of recent history can neither be rolled back or altered. It may be that there simply is no answer to the Aboriginee problem and Australians may simply have to suffer the situation without resolution indefinitely.

  • Anonymous

    So now citing facts (even statistically proven ones and/or scientifically proven ones) is ‘racism’? Good grief. The mentality of these people never stops being mind boggling. I suppose they have nothing to back up their claims, or they are in denial about it, so they have to keep screaming ‘racism’ as a defence mechanism. It really has become almost like a joke, really.

  • Further Comment from Oz

    I missed one of the main points in my previous post. Yes “they” go out of their way to avoid mentioning the race of Aboriginal offenders.

    In one recent horrific crime two men entered the hospital late one night in an outback NSW town, they sexually assulted and murdered the duty nurse. Having lived in the area I immediately knew the offenders would be Aboriginal. Yes, it became public knowledge as soon as the Aboriginal legal service started very publicly whining about racism and how they would never get a fair trial in that town.

    As #3 posted “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” – – Orwell.

  • Anonymous

    Homo sapiens? More likely Homo abo.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been robbed, racial abused, my sister racialy abused, my friends been beaten and robbed at knife point during the day, my Grandma raped and murdered. Now who says you is the victim Mr Aboriginal Money Grubby Service chairman. I have no pity for these “people”.