Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/27064
- The battle for the streets of NSW
- Proposals are floated from time to time to solve the perceived problem of a link between juveniles hanging out in public places such as streets, shopping centres, parks, and on public transport, and the incidence of juvenile crime. In 1994, the NSW Government proposed to solve this problem with Part 3 of the Children (Parental Responsibility) Act 1994 (NSW). By virtue of this proposal police were given the ability to remove juveniles from public places if police believed, on reasonable grounds, that the person in question was under the age of sixteen and was not supervised or under the control of a responsible adult. The efficacy of the proposal was to be tested by way of operation of pilot schemes in the Local Government Areas of Orange and Gosford for a period of one year beginning on 13 March 1995. The Act (Section 16) provided for an evaluation of the pilot scheme to be done as soon as possible a year from the date of assent in order To ascertain whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives. Consultants were appointed in June 1996 to evaluate the legislation and to report to the Parliamentary Evaluation Committee on the Children (Parental Responsibility) Act 1994 (NSW) (Evaluation Committee). In evaluating the pilot schemes the consultants bewailed the problem ‘of having no reliable objective data to assist them in determining whether the Act works or is likely to work’ (Evaluation Committee, 1997:11). Instead the consultants had to rely ‘to a considerable extent upon the subjective views and experiences of individuals, organisations and groups who have their own interests in the Act and young people, as well as the limited research in this area’ (Evaluation Committee, 1997:34). The consultants undertook extensive consultations with local police, local councillors, local community organisations, government organisations, parents and youths among many others before recommending that Part 3 of Children (Parental Responsibility) Act 1994 (NSW) be repealed (see Evaluation Committee, 1997:Appendix C). However, it is suggested that without an examination of both subjective views and objective data, any evaluation lacks completeness. This paper addresses the lack of objective data that bedevilled the consultants. This is done by analysing available juvenile crime data for Orange and Gosford before during and after the introduction of the pilot schemes.
- Agenda Vol. 8, Issue 2, p. 129-140
- Australian National University
Children (Parental Responsibilty) Act 1994 NSW;
- Resource Type
- journal article