The NSW Police Youth Policy Statement specifically applies to young people between the ages of 10 and 18 years. The principles and spirit of the Policy apply to children and young people of all ages.
The force has a strong commitment to developing positive relationships between police and young people.
The force recognises that young people will have different needs. Age, gender, culture, and previous experiences with police will influence interactions and must be considered by police when dealing with young people.
Police officers have discretion in relation to how police powers are used. Officers will ensure this discretion is used in an appropriate, fair and professional manner when dealing with all people, including young people.
The NSW Police Force encourages young people to accept responsibility for their behaviour, particularly offending behaviour. Where appropriate, police will divert young people from the court system, comply with legal requirements and encourage young people to understand the impact of their actions on victims, the community, their family and themselves.
In cases where young people have committed serious and violent offences they will be prosecuted via the court system to protect the community and reduce the impact of serious juvenile crime.
The NSW Police Force also has a clear role to educate the community, including young people, about police responsibilities for youth related issues, the responsibilities of young people in the community and the manner in which police resources will be organised to address youth issues.
Where young people are victims of crime, the NSW Police Force will provide these young people with relevant information about their matter, along with referrals to any appropriate services.
This Policy serves two key purposes:
- to provide a clear strategic corporate direction for police in dealing appropriately with young people, and
- to inform police personnel and the wider community of the principles and priorities for the policing of young people in New South Wales in the next three years.
The NSW Police Force aims to:
- Reduce youth crime
- Divert young people from crime
- Prevent youth crime
- Build partnerships
- Enhance effective relationships
The NSW Police Force will be guided by the following principles in seeking to achieve these objectives:
- Youth Participation