NSW Police scraps ‘highly intrusive’ Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) Program

07/12/2023

Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC) welcomes NSW Police’s decision to end its Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) Program. The STMP is designed to prevent future offending by targeting repeat offenders and those deemed likely to commit future crimes, 

The STMP has faced ongoing criticism by youth advocates for having damaging effects on young people. A recent Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) reports an “ongoing discriminatory effect” on young people. 

Any replacement program must be evidence based. The evidence shows that we cannot police our way out of crime. Community-led approaches which priorities diversion, rehabilitation and therapeutic justice must be our focus. 

The Youth Justice Coalition, convened by MLC, has been calling for external scrutiny and the investigation into the controversial program for almost a decade. 

In its 2017 report which sparked the LECC review, the Youth Justice Coalition shed light on the program’s disproportionate targeting of young people, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and found it to be lacking in transparency and accountability whilst perpetuating a pattern of oppressive, unjust policing. The scheme applied to children as young as ten and inadvertently increased young people’s involvement with the criminal justice system, 

MLC runs a statewide Youth Legal Service and frequently provides information to young people about police powers and their rights when interacting with police. The service offers free legal advice and assistance to young people 25 years of age and younger across NSW and a range of legal issues including minor criminal charges and complaints about police.  

MLC encourages ongoing collaboration with law enforcement agencies to address the response to young people who are engaged in, or at risk of, offending, and ensure a fair and just approach to youth justice in New South Wales. 

For media enquiries contact Tu Le, tle@mlc.org.au