Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Justice Matters

Toughest penalties in Australia for home invasions

Liberal Statement

A Liberal Government will introduce legislation to tighten mandatory sentencing laws for serial burglars and impose the toughest penalties in Australia for serious home invasions.
 
Premier Colin Barnett said Western Australians were entitled to feel safe in their own homes.
 
“We are determined to crack down on those serious and serial offenders who cause untold fear to home owners,” Mr Barnett said.
 
“The community is entitled to see these offenders punished and punished appropriately.” Mr Barnett said a Liberal Government will introduce legislation mandating a minimum jail term of 75% of the maximum available for an adult offender who commits serious physical or sexual assaults in the course of a home invasion.
 
This means:
  • An offender who breaks into a house and violently rapes someone will face a minimum of 15 years jail
  • An offender who breaks into a house and seriously physically assaults someone will face a minimum of 7 years, 6 months jail
  • An offender who breaks into a house and indecently assaults someone will face a minimum of 3 years, 9 months jail.
 
A three year mandatory minimum period of detention will apply to juveniles aged 16 and above who commit serious offences of physical or sexual violence in the course of a home invasion, he said.
 
Police Minister Liza Harvey said existing ‘three strikes’ burglary laws will also be toughened up to close the currently existing loophole.
 
“This means that for offenders over 16, three burglary offences will mean three strikes, not three trips to court for a large number of offences,” Mrs Harvey said.
 
“Across all levels of adult courts, just 52% of aggravated burglary offences dealt with result in a term of imprisonment, with an average term of 20 months
.
“Offences will no longer get bundled up in ‘one strike’ – we believe this change more accurately reflects community expectations.”
 
Attorney General Michael Mischin also said offenders over the age of 16 convicted under the three strikes legislation will also face an increased mandatory minimum sentence – from one year to two years.
 
In addition, Mr Mischin said the Young Offenders Act will be amended so that referrals to juvenile justice teams and cautions
may be counted as ‘strikes’, as will convictions recorded more than two years prior to the current offence.
 
“We believe these tougher penalties reflect the seriousness of home invasions and community expectations of punishment for such offences,” he said.
 
“Every single West Australian should be entitled to be safe and feel safe in their own homes and this legislation will go a long way to doing just that.”

 

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