Children as young as ten are being kept on a covert blacklist by NSW Police, according to a key report involving Marrickville Legal Centre lawyers.

Policing Young People in NSW: A study of the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) was launched recently by MLC’s Managing Principal Solicitor, Annette van Gent. The Centre convenes the Youth Justice Coalition, which produced the report.

The Centre’s former youth solicitors Kate Duffy and Liam McAuliffe were contributors to the landmark report. It finds STMP is disproportionately used against young people and Aboriginal people.

The report authors, Vicki Sentas from UNSW Law and Camilla Pandolfini from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, find police compiled the blacklist in the belief it will prevent future offending by targeting repeat offenders. They also find police target individuals they believe are likely to commit future crime.

Thy authors say thousands of people may be on the list and subjected to routine harassment by the NSW Police as a result.

Policing Young People in NSW details a number of findings including:

*Oppressive policing is damaging relationships between young people and the police,

*The approach encourages poor policing practice and raises concerns regarding the lack of transparency

*An absence of oversight, scrutiny or evaluation.

The Youth Justice Coalition made a number of findings, including that the police discontinue applying STMP to people under 18 years of age and that they make the STMP policy and operational arrangements publicly available to enable transparency and accountability. 

The Youth Justice Coalition, which is convened by MLC, is a network of youth workers, children’s lawyers, policy workers and academics who work to promote the rights of children and young people in NSW and across Australia.

Read the full report here 

Photo: Marrickville Legal Centre’s Managing Principal Solicitor Annette van Gent launched the report.

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