Thursday, 25 January 2007

Child abuse 'a huge problem for Australia'

Child health care workers say new figures showing an increase in child abuse cases presents a huge problem for Australia which must be addressed.

The figures from the Institute of Health and Welfare show there were 55,000 substantiated cases of abuse in 2005-2006 - a rise of 10,000 on the previous year.

There has also been a 40 per cent increase in the past five years in the number of children removed from their family home by authorities.

Dr Sue Packer has been working as a community paediatrician in the ACT since 1990 and says almost all the parents she meets want to do a good job.

But she says the new statistics are a concern.

"I think it's really enforcing for me that child abuse is a huge problem for Australia, it's something that I'm myopic about because of my work but it really is out there and it really is a problem," she said.

Child abuse 'a huge problem for Australia'

Monday, 22 January 2007

12yo charged over crime spree

Police in Perth have charged a 12-year-old boy they claim was involved in a three-day crime spree.

The boy has been charged with several serious offences, including stealing a motor vehicle and aggravated armed robbery.

It is alleged he and three accomplices aged between 17 and 25 stole a car on Friday night before using it to steal handbags from three women around the metropolitan area.

Police say two of the women were threatened with a knife.

The stolen vehicle was involved in a high-speed pursuit last night, reaching speeds of up to 160 kilometres an hour before it was stopped by police with a stinger device in Willeton.

The pursuit began on the Kwinana Freeway just after midnight, when police spotted a stolen vehicle.

It continued for about half an hour through Perth's southern suburbs, as well as the domestic and international airports.

The driver lost control of the vehicle on Leach Highway in Riverton after he tried to avoid the stinger device.

The driver escaped on foot but was arrested a short time later.

They boy's three accomplices - two females and one male - also face several charges, including stealing a motor vehicle and armed robbery.

12yo charged over crime spree

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Disruptive students may be educated separately

The Western Australian Government is considering educating students with disruptive behaviour separately from others in the public school system.

Education Minister Mark McGowan says the measure would be used as a last resort when students continually distract others from learning.

Mr McGowan has also suggested the introduction of new uniforms for state high school students, similar to those in the private system.

The uniforms could include blazers, button-up shirts, ties and dresses for female students.

Mr McGowan says the policy would be flexible.

"I think you really need to look at the more southerly parts of the state rather than the more northerly parts of the state, simply because it's often too hot and too difficult to put these sorts of policies in place when it's 40 degrees each day," he said.

Disruptive students may be educated separately

Police investigate triple stabbing in Perth

Police have cordoned off an area in Northbridge in Perth, where three people were stabbed early this morning.

Police say the stabbings occurred near the intersection of Roe and Fitzgerald streets about 2:30am AWDT.

Inspector Trevor Davis says police are investigating.

"A section of that area has been cordoned off for crime scene examination," he said.

"Detectives are interviewing witnesses."

St John's Ambulance says two of the victims were brothers and one received a serious stab wound under his armpit.

They have been taken to Royal Perth Hospital.

Meanwhile in Victoria Park a woman has died after being hit by a train.

Police say she was struck about 1:30am AWDT.

In southern WA, police are trying to determine the identity of a man who died in a traffic crash on the Redmond-Hay River Road, 20 kilometres north of Albany, about 1:00am AWDT.

His death comes after that of a 15-year-old boy who was injured in Kinross on Friday.

They boy was crossing Burns Beach Road when he ran into the side of a car.

He died in Royal Perth Hospital last night from head and internal injuries.

Police investigate triple stabbing in Perth

19 charged over suburban brawl

Nineteen people have been charged with riot offences after a neighbourhood dispute in Sydney's west last night.

Police were called to Bidwill at 9:00pm AEDT after receiving reports that groups of people were armed with bottles and wooden posts.

Officers allegedly found a group of 19 men and boys - aged between 16 and 24 years old - with sticks, bottles and knives.

The men and boys have been arrested and charged, and police have confiscated the weapons.

Police have also found weapons including knives, baseball bats and machetes at a home in the area early this morning.

Two men from that house were arrested in relation to other matters.

Officers say it is believed residents of two houses in the area had been involved in a dispute for days.

Police say the brawl involved up to 60 people, but no-one was seriously injured.

Superintendent Alan Harding says tensions had been escalating between the neighbours for days.

"There's been a range of motives put forward, such as an argument between two young girls from either family, but I think its fair to say that there's been ongoing disputes between these two families and then last night we saw its expression in violence," he said.

19 charged over suburban brawl

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Court hears teen king-hit in fatal attack

Bail has been refused for two 15-year-old boys charged with the murder of a fellow teenager at Griffith in south-west New South Wales on New Year's Day.

Andrew Peter Farrugia died on Monday morning after what the Wagga Children's Court heard was an unprovoked attack in Griffith's main street.

The court heard the 17-year-old student was head-butted twice and then king-hit from behind before he collapsed and died.

Defence lawyers requested strict bail for the 15-years-olds accused of the murder.

But Magistrate Peter Dare rejected the application, citing the strength of the prosecution case and seriousness of the murder charge.

An application from the defence to ban media reporting of the case was also rejected.

The boys have been remanded in custody to face the Griffith Children's Court in March.

Earlier today a prayer service was held in Griffith to pay tribute to Mr Farrugia.

Court hears teen king-hit in fatal attack

Survey shows 'surprising' rate of criminal records for under-21s

A survey of people born in New South Wales in 1984 has revealed 10 per cent of them had a criminal record by the time they turned 21.

The most common convictions were for drink driving and other traffic offences.

The results show that most of the people who appeared in court did so only once.

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research director Don Weatherburn says it is the first year such a study has been done in Australia, so it is not yet known if the figure is out of the ordinary.

He says he did not think the proportion of people who have criminal records would be so high.

"To find out that 10 per cent of those born in 1984 have a criminal record before the age of 21 is quite surprising in some ways," he said.

"Although it has to be borne in mind that most of these people had one court appearance and no further appearance, so it is not as if they became career criminals.

"I guess the more interesting point is that it's the small percentage who repeatedly appear who account for most of the appearances.

"For example the 2 per cent who appear in court 10 times or more account for 15 per cent of all the appearances by people in this age group."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Survey shows 'surprising' rate of criminal records for under-21s

Smacking ban too extreme, Family Association says

The Australian Family Association says a ban on smacking children is going too far.

The Australian Childhood Foundation says it would like physical punishment against children to be banned.

But Australian Family Association spokesman Damien Tudehope says the current laws are adequate.

"We have some concerns about introducing laws which have the potential of turning parents into criminals," he said.

"Certainly we don't advocate any circumstances where it's appropriate to leave permanent marks on children and to use discipline in a way where it becomes an assault on children.

"But to introduce laws which mean the Government has a role to play in deciding who and who isn't a good parent, we think that's going too far."

The Australian Childhood Foundation has released the findings of a national survey of 720 adults.

It has revealed 45 per cent of those surveyed believe it is okay to leave a mark on a child from physical punishment.

It also shows 10 per cent of respondents believe it is okay to use canes, sticks and belts to punish children.

The foundation's chief executive, Joe Tucci, says while there has been a decline in support for physical punishment, there is obviously still a large section of the community using it.

"I'd like to see Australia move towards banning the use of physical punishment against children," he said.

"That would put us in step with 15 other countries around the world and with our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Smacking ban too extreme, Family Association says

Domestic violence is a crime and men can be victims too, although in smaller numbers.

A report released last October by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found domestic violence had increased by 50 per cent in the previous seven years and that a surprising number of cases involved male victims.

They outnumbered female victims in cases where the victim was under15 or over 39.

September 10, 2006 12:00

Domestic violence is a crime and men can be victims too, although in smaller numbers.