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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

'It's got to stop': jail proposed for posting crimes

A two-year social media ban or prison could be on the cards for Australians who glamorise their crimes, under the coalition's plan to address youth offending.

Anyone caught posting and boasting about their crimes on sites like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook could face two years in prison, under the federal opposition's proposal to tackle youth offending. 

In February, a video emerged of three teenagers breaking into a Moree motel in northern NSW to the terror of the sleeping occupants - it appeared to be filmed by one of the alleged offenders.

Several months earlier, a Townsville man was chased in a stolen car by young people wielding machetes.

The interaction was filmed by one of the alleged chasers with the caption "You don't chase us, we chase you".

Opposition communication spokesman David Coleman said this is unacceptable.

"They think that's cool, they think that's going to impress their friends somehow. It is the perverse logic of these videos," he told the House of Representatives on Monday.

"It's got to stop and that's why we need to take action."

Mr Coleman has introduced to parliament a private member's bill which proposes jail terms for people who depict violence, drug offences or property offences for the purpose of increasing a person's notoriety.

Any offenders could also be banned from social media for up to two years.

The bill would also give the eSafety Commissioner powers to order the removal of "post and boast" crime videos from social media and other platforms.

Mr Coleman said these measures are necessary to tackle a trend among young Australians.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found the number of offenders aged between 10 and 17 increased by six per cent in 2022-23 compared to the previous 12 months.

Accounting for population growth, the youth offender rate has also increased from 1778 in 2021-22 to 1847 offenders per 100,000 people between the ages of 10 and 17.

While this is the first increase since 2009-10, that is is set against a steep decline over the previous 15 years from 3338 per 100,000 in 2009-10 to almost half that in 2021-2022.

Shadow attorney-general Michaelia Cash said the proposal would attack the problem at its source and make it illegal to post material that glamorises violence.

"Social media notoriety has become a driver of crime in our suburbs," she said.

NSW passed similar "post and boast" laws on T that will add an extra two-year penalty for anyone who steals a vehicle or commits a break-in and shares material to advertise their crimes.

The controversial laws will make it harder for older youths to be released on bail if charged for some serious offences while similar charges are pending.


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