Petition calls for more action on crime sprees

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The petition calling for harsher penalties for youth crime in Broome on Change.org.
Camera IconThe petition calling for harsher penalties for youth crime in Broome on Change.org.

The Department of Justice and Member for Kimberley Josie Farrer have been singled out in a petition calling for harsher penalties for juvenile criminals in Broome.

The public uproar came about after a spate of theft crimes last weekend in which several vehicles were stolen from businesses and community members.

Started by local woman Stacey Marley on the website change.org, the petition states that the “same excuses are thrown out for those accused” of crimes committed each night and “the victims of these crimes continue to suffer because of it”.

“I cry out for amendments to the law. Amendments where we can isolate these perpetrators from each other,” it says.

“I speak out to the MPs of the Kimberley to highlight the issues in Broome and to support the voiceless.

“I speak out to the Department of Justice, I feel there is a missing link between the police work completed and the prosecutions in the court.”

The petition currently has 1056 signatures and more than 100 messages of support.

A Department of Justice spokesperson said judicial officers such as magistrates were independent of Government and “made their sentencing decisions based on all the evidence heard in court on a particular case”.

Ms Farrer was not available for comment.

The petition was sparked by a spate of car theft incidents across Broome last weekend, and Kimberley District Superintendent Greg Crofts said many of the vehicles were returned to owners.

Broome Motors principal dealer Simon Guille said the five vehicles stolen from his car yard on Clementson Street on March 24 were returned, but several keys that were taken were yet to be recovered.

He said the thefts had taken both a financial and emotional toll on him and the company.

“It takes a lot of energy to sort out, so its not only the monetary side of things, but the burden it takes on you as a business owner,” he said.

“The current economic climate can be described as subdued at best, and we’re only a small business and these losses make a substantial impact.

“Somewhere down the line, there has to be some responsibility taken for these consistent behaviours and crimes.”

Supt Crofts said police across the region worked tirelessly to complete investigations on all reports, return property and hold people accountable to put them before court.

“Broome and the Kimberley have some of the best policing in the State and we are trying every day to move in front of the game, and we need everybody’s help to be able to continue to do this,” he said. “People need to take appropriate cautions to make sure the opportunity for theft is gone, but that does not mean we place any blame on the victim whatsoever.

“The important thing is that these offenders should never be considered lost causes and we certainly don’t see them that way.

“The approach taken to criminals in the region may be unique, but we are committed to finding the method that works to stop these repeated crimes and we are open to hearing ideas from the community.” Ms Marley was contacted for comment.

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