Wild plan to send young crims to remote camps

Masked teenage criminal stealing from a car
Young offenders should be sent to outback camps to build fences and brand cattle in order to get a “purpose in life”, David Littleproud has suggested.

Young offenders should be sent to outback camps to build fences and brand cattle in order to get a “purpose in life”, David Littleproud has suggested.

The Nationals leader was frank in his assessment that the states had not done enough to clamp down on the growing trend of “posting and boasting” by young offenders who share videos of their crimes on social media.

But he revealed he wanted any fix to the issue to also consider sending offenders to remote camps instead of juvenile detention centres.

“They don’t fear it anymore. They get to go and play touch (football) and computer games during the night,” Mr Littleproud told Nine.

“We need to get back to … outback camps. Two, 300km from towns. You don’t need barbed wire. If they want to run away, they have to dodge the king brown (snakes) and wild dogs.

Mr Littleproud wants young offenders sent to outback camps. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Mr Littleproud said there was a lot of “gratuitous advice” from criminologists and child psychologists on how to treat the issue but stressed a need to return to “basic principles of having “a purpose in life”.

“Every morning they’re up with a purpose. They’re taught a trade. They’re out there making fences, cleaning out water troughs, branding cattle and learning mechanics,” he said.

“They come away with a purpose in life.”

The radical proposal from the Nationals leader is just one being considered as the Coalition seeks to elevate the issue of youth crime to the national agenda.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton backed in his colleague’s idea when asked while launching his plan to make “posting and boasting” a criminal offence carrying a prison sentence of up to two years.

Illegal Young man Spraying black paint on a Graffiti wall.
There has been a growing trend of posting and boasting criminal acts.

“Those divergence programs, that’s the way it works now, is it a good thing to provide young people with skills, particularly trades? Yes,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“I think governments are right to look at different programs that have been demonstrated to work, it might keep young offenders out of juvenile detention if that’s not the appropriate outcome for them.”

Under Mr Dutton’s youth crime crackdown, courts would also be able to prohibit young people from using social media for two years if caught sharing videos of their crimes online. 

The private members bill would be introduced to parliament when it resumes next week.

It is unlikely to progress unless the government agrees to bring the proposal on for debate.

It comes just days after the NSW confirmed it would become the second state to introduce additional two-year “posting and boasting” penalties on motor vehicle theft and break and enter offences.

The offence would apply to the person who posted the video on social media sites such as TikTok.