Media Release: A Call to End Predictive Policing Targeting Children as Young as Ten

Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) is calling for an end to a New South Wales policing practice known as the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP), a “hidden” blacklist used by police to target children as young as ten.

The call comes after the Director of Bureau of Crime Statistics, Mr. Don Weatherburn, has publicly identified the STMP practice as a reason for the dramatic jump in the increase of the New South Wales prison population to almost 14,000 this year from less than 10,000 in 2012.

Mr Weatherburn has told The New York Times in an article titled ‘For These Australian Prisoners, a 14-Month Wait Without Being Sentenced’ that “aggressive policing” like the STMP is a reason for this increase. 

Sam Lee, solicitor heading up the Police Accountability Practice at Redfern Legal Centre states, “The STMP sets young people up for failure, branding them with a ‘potential criminal’ identity and plunging them into a toxic cycle of ongoing police interactions.”

Ms Lee further states, “We now have the Director of BOSCAR, Mr Weatherburn, naming this predictive policing practice as being “aggressive” and adding to the NSW prison population. It’s now time for the New South Wales Police Minister, the Honourable Troy Grant, MP to put an end to this dangerous practice.”

In 2017, a report on the STMP was released by Vicki Sentas, the convenor of the RLC Police Powers Clinic and a lecturer at UNSW, and Camilla Pandolfini, PIAC senior solicitor, identifying significant human rights concerns associated with the practice. The report found more than half the people subject to the STMP are Aboriginal.

RLC police powers solicitor Sam Lee is available for interview: contact Finn O’Keefe, RLC Communications Manager: 02 9698 7277 | 0424 548 019 | finn@rlc.org.au

A Call to End Predictive Policing Targeting Children as Young as Ten