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Kids aged 7, 8 and 9 are being picked up by Orange police “to prevent them committing offences"

October 1, 2022

Orange police station. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By David Fitzsimons

Children as young as six and seven have been removed by police from public places in Orange over the last 12 months amid concerns over crime and safety.

In one case on April 30 a boy, six, with others aged nine and 11, who were found by police to be “behaving in an offence (sic) manner and were in a public place without supervision”.

They were taken home and left them with their parents to “prevent the commission of offences”.

On March 23 a girl, seven, along with another girl and three boys, all aged eight or nine, were taken home by police to “to prevent them committing offences”.

On March 26 police took two girls, aged seven and nine, and a boy aged eight, home amid concerns they would become victims of crime.

In total 77 young people have been taken home by police from public areas in Orange in the past 12 months.

Officers have used a law currently operating only in Orange, the Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Act to prevent crime and stop the children becoming victims of crime.

A report outlining the instances where police have had to intervene is before Orange City Council’s next meeting on Tuesday night.

The children were taken home to parents, grandparents and carers.

At 6.30pm on November 7 last year three girls aged 13, 14 and 16, were taken home by police after they were found at the rear of businesses in the CBD.

“Police held concerns that the young persons may be at risk of harm or at risk of becoming involved in crime,” the report says.

On April 3 police found a boy, nine, “knocking on doors of residences not known to him” and took him home.

On June 12 police found a boy, 12, in an undercover car park late at night before he was taken home to prevent him coming to harm.

In another case, at 4.18am on January 30, a girl, 14, and a boy, 16, were victims of crime.

“To prevent further victimisation they have been taken to their homes and left with their parents,” the report says.

And on January 15 a 15-year-old girl was taken to Orange police station amid concerns she would commit crimes or become a victim of crime. It said the girl was collected from the station by her mother.

In a separate report on crime to the council meeting police chief inspector Peter Atkins is quoted as saying the Act was a “very beneficial and useful tool” for police.

Another officer, acting inspector Brian Duffey, is quoted as saying the act was also used for a “core group of 9-12 year-olds".

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