Policing Young People in NSW: A study of the Suspect Targeting Management Plan

RLC is proud to have supported the development of the first publicly available study on the New South Wales Police Force Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP). 

The Policing Young People in NSW report, authored by Vicki Sentas (UNSW Law and Redfern Legal Centre Police Powers Clinic) and Camilla Pandolfini (Public Interest Advocacy Centre), was published by the Youth Justice coalition in November 2017. The report authors caution that the STMP raises serious questions for civil liberties and police accountability. 

The STMP is both a police intelligence tool that uses risk assessment to ‘predict’ suspects, and a targeted program that seeks to prevent future offending by targeting repeat offenders and people police believe are likely to commit future crime. 

Once a person is on the STMP, they are repeatedly targeted by police, including being stopped and searched and visited at home regardless of whether they have committed a violence offence or minor offences like shoplifting or graffiti, or even if they are just known to police but have never been convicted of an offence. The rationale underlying the STMP is that subjecting people to high levels of police contact will disrupt them from committing future crimes.

The study found that young people on the STMP experience inappropriate forms of over-policing disproportionate to the future risks they are alleged to pose to society, and concluded that NSW Police should not be exposing any young people to the STMP. The research also found that the STMP disproportionately targeted Aboriginal people.

Report findings include:

  • Disproportionate use of the STMP against young people and Aboriginal people
  • Patterns of oppressive policing that may be damaging relationships between police and young people
  • The STMP increases young people’s costly contact with the criminal justice system and has no observable impact on crime prevention
  • The STMP encourages poor police practice 
  • No transparency and an absence of oversight, scrutiny or evaluation.

The report authors state that information about the STMP should be made publicly available, and the policy itself be subject to a thorough investigation and evaluation.

Read more and download the report from the Youth Justice Coalition website.