Youth curfew proposal “outrageous” says national youth peak

Young people in Alice Springs should not be subjected to curfews, as there is no evidence that they actually work to reduce crime and unfairly discriminate against Aboriginal young people, says the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).

The Northern Territory government’s push to impose a “smart curfew” on young people in Alice Springs to prevent them walking around the town between midnight and 6am, has been roundly rejected by AYAC and other leading youth affairs organisations.

AYAC Acting Executive Director, Reynato Reodica said, “This kind of response is simply knee-jerk, an insult to local communities and has never been proven to actually work.”

“Curfews don’t address the real reasons why young people are on the streets. It just pushes the issues under the carpet and it’ll bite the people of the Alice in the long-term.”

Many young people in Alice Springs are walking on the streets at night for a variety of reasons: they sleep in the heat of the day, there are very few indoor recreational activities available, or young people do not feel safe in their homes.

“If we want young people off the streets, then we need to ensure there are safe options for them instead. Without real options, a curfew will have the consequence of pushing young people into situations put them at risk of further harm, especially for the majority young people who are not doing anything wrong”, Mr Reodica said.

AYAC says that all youth curfews unfairly discriminate against young people.

“We don’t ban adults from walking around to prevent street crime. It’s ridiculous and unfair to treat young people in this way.”

Additional information:

The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) is the national voice for young people and the youth affairs sector. AYAC’s vision is for an Australia in which young people are informed, empowered, encouraged and supported to participate in their communities

www.ayac.org.au

Media enquiries: Reynato Reodica, Acting Executive Director, Australian Youth Affairs Coalition  P: 02 9212 0500 | M: 0416 929 252

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