Street kids: What cops can do

Assistant Commissioner Narelle Beer (pictured) says if police were to locate youths as young as eight roaming the streets at night unsupervised, they “would utilise their powers pursuant to the Care and Protection of Children Act and ensure the youth is conveyed to a responsible person (under the Act) and notify Territory Families.

“We encourage all parents or family members to know where their children are at all times,” says Comm. Beer in response to questions from the Alice Springs News after she rejected proposals for a youth curfew discussed by the Town Council.

What are the police’s obligations with respect to juveniles at risk, we asked her.

She replied via a spokesperson: “Police have a number of options and obligations regarding at risk youth.

“This includes moving that child to a safe place pursuant to the Care and Protection Children Act, engagement with parents and families, referral to Territory Families via identified referral systems or direct engagement with Territory Families with options for on call and on duty staff in Alice Springs.”

We asked: How many charges has the police laid against parents failing to provide the necessities of life for their children?

Comm. Beer replied: “Charging anyone for such offences relates to serious allegations of child neglect.

“Youth located in public at night time would not attract such offence consideration.

“Police notify Territory Families as per reporting obligations under the Care and Protection of Children Act to allow Territory Families to engage with the responsible person.”



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