In 2003 the Labor Premier of Western Australia Geoff Gallop, introduced legislation that enforced a after-dark curfew on all civilians under the age of eighteen, unless they were accompanied by a legal guardian. The curfew was restricted to the city’s entertainment precinct know as Northbridge. This report will be looking into both the positives and negatives of the curfew and if there is a community need to extend the curfew to other areas of the city and surrounding areas.
26 June 2003, Labor Premier Geoff Gallop announced the introduction of The Young People in Northbridge Policy. It was designed to address the growing problem of youth that were unsupervised in Perth’s largest entertaining precinct, Northbridge. A curfew was put in place which stated any child under the age of twelve wasn’t allowed in the Northbridge area after dark and those who are between the ages of thirteen and fifteen are not allowed to be in the area after 10.00pm local time unless accompanied by a legal guardian who was sober at the time of supervision. There were four phases that were outlined in the policy in regards to the legal frame work that included; Street Patrols, Finding Safe Places and Safe People, The Operational Debrief and Follow-Up and Case Management. With the legal position of the policy outlined in Section 41 of the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (WA), police and members of organisations such as; The Department of Child Protection (DCP) and the Juvenile Aid Group (JAG), were authorised to direct youths back to their homes if they were not supervised (Carpenter, 2006). If youths were found to be considered ‘vulnerable’ they were then taken to JAG for risk evaluation to see whether or not they were a risk to the community and/or their homes. Arrangements were then made to transport the individual to a safe place where if need more assessments were completed (Right Track, 2009).
Arguments for the legislation/Curfew
A contributing factor as to why the curfew has been accepted into community views lies with the notion that a curfew makes the streets a safer place to be due to the decrease in juvenile crime, (Adams, 2003). Gallop’s curfew policy was announced due to a climate of growing concern over Community safety in the Northbridge area. These community concerns were documented in the Northbridge: Shaping the future report, released by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) in 2002. While the...