CCLJ welcomes the announcement by NSW Police that they have stopped using the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) against young people, effective from October 2023, and will cease using it against adults from December 2023.
This follows the release of the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission’s (LECC) report known as ‘Operation Tepito’ finding that NSW Police use of STMP against young people ‘amounted to agency maladministration’ and ‘could possibly meet the threshold for serious misconduct’.
A major contributor to this significant change is CCLJ member Dr Vicki Sentas (Faculty of Law and Justice UNSW). We recognise and celebrate the work she has undertaken in this space as part of The Youth Justice Coalition. For more than 5 years the Youth Justice Coalition has warned that the STMP not only pushes children into increased contact with the criminal justice system, but also that it is unreasonably oppressive, harassing, stigmatising and racially biased. The coalition includes the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the Shopfront Youth Legal Centre and Redfern Legal Centre.
With regard to this important development, Dr Sentas has said: ‘The police say they will replace the STMP with something else. But more police designed, and police led programs are not the solution. Aboriginal controlled community organisations must be involved. There must be ongoing oversight by the LECC over what happens next.’